Vacation Bound: But I’ve Left You with 20,000+ Words to Enjoy

Today is my last day before a much needed vacation. I'm mostly taking the next few weeks off to spend with the family, although I know I'll have a few meetings crop up along the way as the Busch/Reisman clan heads out East and Northeast. In the past few weeks, I've spent nights and weekends trying to get ahead on content so I can avoid the urge to wake up at 5:00 AM on vacation and write what's on my mind. I realized, looking at the queue of what's already in our blog schedule, that there's something like 20,000 words. Crazy stuff. It makes me think that I should just do a book at some point. But then I realize that Spend Matters the blog (not the research/analyst site, not the advisory and selection work we do, none of that stuff is what really excites me) is what really fulfills me.

After almost seven full years, there's nothing more I enjoy than penning these columns. Granted, sometimes the research and writing time is a bit all consuming. But when you find something you truly enjoy, then the time spent doing it is really not a chore. In my absence, I think you'll find a lot of the content quite useful and enjoyable. I've queued up, for example, the rest of our post series on Spend Radar. We'll also continue to profile SAP Supplier InfoNet in depth. And we'll be sharing a lot around the latest when it comes to Chinese labor practices and labor violations, courtesy of a great primary research effort by China Labor Watch (the actual report they produced comes off as amateurish, but the underlying content and primary research is extremely useful for the purposes of showing China's true colors when it comes to the government and business turning its back on how employees are treated).

Reading about such infractions has reinforced by belief that it's up to us as both consumers and those who buy and manage supply chains for a living to wake up to the practices going on in our supply chains in China, among other countries with gross violations of labor practices even in large facilities in highly modern production parks like the one in Suzhou. The rise of supply chain risk management programs is certainly playing a bit of a role here in creating some attention around these issues. But it's not enough. It's clear to me, having spent over a decade now researching and writing about supplier management and supply chain risk (not to mention while being engaged in China sourcing projects earlier in this time frame) that the Chinese government is the own worst enemy of its people in terms of what it turns its back on.

Let's hope that as consumers and businesses, we stop doing the same. It's time to wake up to the human rights abuses within factories that touch everything from our own corporate supply chains to our wardrobes to the smart phones and computers that our children play Angry Birds on. Apologies for the rant before heading out, but this is a subject I can't seem to get out of my mind. Because, perhaps, nothing appears to be getting better and in a country where government and company executives do not have guilt or a management conscience as we think of it, it's time for someone to take a stand. Hopefully in my absence, I'll leave you with some material for that person to be you.

Jason Busch

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