Daily Archives: September 19, 2008

Out in Front: Jon Miller, Strategic Sourceror

As per my last post, Bob Ferrari was first out of the gate with his initial contribution to the Seven Grand Challenges to Spend and Supply Management. Hot on his tail-pipe were Jon Miller of Gemba Panta Rei with his Seven Grand Challenges and the Strategic Sourceror of the Strategic Sourceror with his introductory post on the topic.

The Strategic Sourceror, who’s keeping his final list a secret for now, started off his post by noting that the shift has already left the harbor is the perfect metaphor for the globalization of a peak functioning supply chain. International supplier integration has gone from innovation to a competitive necessity in what seems like the blink of an eye in a global marketplace where overseas shipment costs are rising by as much as 170% and some carriers are slowing speed by 20% to conserve fuel. But the effect of petro-economics is only one component of the international sourcing equation. Other challenges are rising fast and furious, and, as noted by Strategic Sourceror, these include:

  • Currency
    Certain currencies, like the US Dollar, have been up-and-down faster than a yo-yo in the hands of a master.
  • Quality
    How many more PR disasters and deaths have to happen before people wake up as to how important this issue is?
  • Redress
    All you have to do is leave the state and the laws that your supplier are subject to might be different than the laws you are subject to. This only magnifies as you leave the country – and continent.
  • Trade Barriers
    It’s not even as simple as the import and export documentary requirements anymore … you have burgeoning denied party lists to deal with now.
  • Political Instability
    Political instability exists in numerous Asian and Euro-zone countries – not just in the Middle East and Venezuela.

Given these challenges, I’m anxious to see what the Strategic Sourceror’s seven grand challenges shape up to be!

Jon Miller decided to jump right in with his seven grand challenges, which, and this should come as no surprise given Gemba Panta Rei’s focus, had a distinctively lean orientation, with a smattering of green. Getting right to the point, Jon’s seven challenges were:

  • Putting Safety First
    It’s not just about price.
  • Getting Serious About Zeppelins
    Are they the 200 mph method of travel and transport of the future?
  • Waiting For It
    Do we really need new laptops and cell phones in 2-3 days from the day we make the decision?
  • Eating Fruits in Season
    Eat local when you can.
  • Paying to Waste
    Overpacking is costly as well as wasteful. Why do we do it?
  • Spacing Out
    Do we really need warehouses in space?
  • Beaming It Over
    The internet changes anything.

It’s quite an interesting list, and I highly recommend that you check out Jon’s post for the details, and rationale, behind his decisions.