A Spend Management Caucus: Minahan's Town Hall Meeting

I've got to hand it to Tim Minahan for coming up with creative marketing ideas and spinning them in new ways. For example, given the country's current fascination with every single political caucus or town hall meeting concerning the Presidential primaries, why not extend the same interchange and debate concept to the Spend Management world? You guessed it. That's what Tim is up to. He quietly announced on Supply Excellence earlier in the week that he'll be hosting the first of what is presumably many Spend Management Town Hall meetings next week. According to Tim, this event will be "the first in a series of debates among industry thought leaders and top procurement, supply chain, and finance executives ... [it] will showcase how leading companies are applying spend management techniques and approaches to address the leading business and socio-economic issues of the day."

This first Town Hall event is taking place at Michigan State University, and Tim extended an invitation to Supply Excellence readers to participate. Unfortunately, I'll be on the left coast that day, but otherwise, I would have high-tailed it over to Michigan to be there to listen to and participate in the debate, as the participants are second to none. Tim's invited Whirlpool's Mark Brown, Michigan State's Joe Sandor and Kellogg's Alistair Hirst to lead the Town Hall discussion. What are some of the questions he plans to cover in the discussion? In short, it's virtually all the topics you read about on these pages every day. Just to name a few from his post:

• How has the declining U.S. dollar impacted your sourcing and supplier strategies?
• How have rising labor, commodities, and shipping costs caused you to rethink your China sourcing strategy?
• How are you assessing quality, performance, and supply risk in your global supply chain?
• Is the push for environmentally responsible supply a long-term business strategy, or just a passing fad?

Cool stuff. I wish Tim the best of luck in the kick-off Spend Management Town Hall meeting. But perhaps the irony of this is that I'll be asking a number of similar questions to the panelists at CVM’s Supply World on the same day in San Francisco. But the similarities will most likely end there. Consider that I'm guessing that I'll be chinos and Tim will be in a suit -- such are the cultural differences of the Midwest and Nancy Pelosi's city. But regardless, when it comes to planning an engaging panel discussion and procurement debate, great blogging minds think alike, I suppose.

- Jason Busch

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