ISM Speaks More Than “Baltimorese” in the Inner Harbor (Dispatch 1)

I'm headed down to ISM today, along with my colleagues Thomas Kase and Lisa Reisman. Thomas and I have no speaking duties this year (which feels like vacation) and have intentionally left ourselves unbooked. This will allow us to wander around the presentations and "walk the hall" talking to new and old faces alike. Lisa is speaking on Wednesday. The title of her session is "Minimizing Commodity Risk: Practical Hedging and Non-hedging Strategies for Volatile Commodity Spend". This year, ISM takes place in Baltimore, a city that even people like me from Philadelphia tend to look down upon (hard to believe, I know).

If you think my accent sounds bad -- ask me to say "water" -- you don't even want to go there with Baltimorese. However, the inner harbor is certainly quite nice and Camden Yards did start the new stadium baseball renaissance, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. Moreover, they are equal opportunity in Baltimore when it comes to taking advantage of tourists who've had a bit too much to drink.

Fortunately, the content of ISM should more than make up for any questions about the accent and public relations safety concerns about the area. I had the chance to peruse the agenda this year of all the breakouts (which took some time!) and things seem heavily weighted toward a few topics we'll be sure to dig into in our coverage:

  • Supplier and supply chain risk
  • Commodity risk management
  • Supplier collaboration
  • Supplier development (inclusive of diversity)
  • Related supply chain areas to procurement

I was actually surprised to find a somewhat limited number of sessions (relative to the above topics that stood out) in core areas such as P2P, e-sourcing, global sourcing/supplier management and the like. Not a bad thing. In fact, it's good to see ISM stretching into new areas (including supply chain areas like service parts, which IBM will be covering in a story of their technology-led transformation in the area).

Check back often as we report back starting soon!

- Jason Busch

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