Supply Risk: Let the Courtship Begin — ISM's Supply Risk Track

Today, Spend Matters would like to welcome back Richard Rich, who leads his company's supply risk management efforts, to continue the discussion on this critical topic.

Risk and the supply chain will be married soon. But what happens in the interim, before the marriage? Many courtships employ dancing as a way to engage each other; our first date will be a dance at the San Diego Hilton for three-plus days in April, when the ISM 95th Annual Conference provides the first opportunity for this potential couple to dance.

ISM has opened the door to this partnership by including a supply chain-risk track in its conference curriculum. Seven workshops over the course of more than three days will bring the two potential partners together. It starts on Sunday, April 25 with Kishan Khemani, a Partner in the Risk Management Practice of ATKearney, and ends on Wednesday morning with our own Jason Busch and Sherry Gordon. Attendees will be treated to workshops that provide risk tactical applications implemented by Eli Lilly's Catherine Herr; contractual-terms mitigation strategies put in place by Laurie Brooks, Chief Risk Officer for Public Service Enterprise Group, a New Jersey based electrical utility and holding company; a workshop on how to apply risk tactics to the supply chain by Don Dixon, a Director in the Risk Practice at Deloitte & Touche; and an excellent workshop provided by Jason and Sherry on understanding software, providers, and analytical tools. Mickey North-Rizza from AMR Research will define fundamental risk drivers in the supply chain, based on AMR’s research data.

There is more, but the real point is the information exchange, the ability to deliver the message about why risk matters to the supply chain professional, will be an extremely valuable add, in my opinion. I can blog all day long without getting through to readers, but the value of sitting, listening, and exchanging information with "hands-on" subject-matter experts is truly a great way to understand this couple and their impending marriage. In order for this couple to arrive at the altar, more of this type of information-exchange forum need to happen. We need to understand how the supply chain professional can apply risk to the planning of critical functions; how risk can make the supply chain a lean, mean, fighting machine that adapts to change readily. I believe risk tactics, applied correctly to the supply chain function, makes the supply chain a player in the strategic direction of the companies it serves. It is the proverbial "seat at the table."

Supply chain to many internal and external customers is appropriately named: it is perceived as a chain around their necks. Risk tactics can break that perception and provide meaningful planning data as low-hanging fruit in the supply chain. Risk can identify gaps in the strategic alliance and a SWOT Analysis for an upcoming negotiation. Come and learn more about what risk applied to your supply chain can do. You will not be disappointed, you can only benefit, and I think the workshops planned are the best when addressing this subject.

- Richard Rich

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