We all know about outsourcing, longer leaner chains. The basic assumption is that somehow these supply chains perform better. And in some respects they do. But leaner chains take on more exposure.

Business risks—supply chain risks—have been with us before outsourcing. We account for risk through buffers of various kinds, but buffers cost money, which could divert capital away from real market demand opportunities or investment capital for the upturn. With our ability to gain end-to-end visibility through foundational technologies, we can now begin to address a variety of risk elements across the value chain.

We all learned in the last two years, that having bad advice can cost you—loss in your net worth, bad business decisions, etc. Talk about poor risk management! If some organizations thought in more structured ways about their boards, their kitchen cabinets, auditors and consultants, corporate America would have avoided some of the blunders in the last few years. Who do you trust, and how do you get good advice is the focus of The Interview, with Saj-nicole Joni, author of The Third Opinion.

My supply chain colleagues, I encourage you to share this issue with your CEOs and CFOs, Product Management, etc. We have articles that address issues that are not only germane to you, but to your colleagues and management, as well. We have basically dedicated this entire issue to the cause of Risk Management—we think we have the scoop on this one, with contributions from some of the brightest minds in the industry. Our contributors include Professor Blake Johnson from Stanford University, a team from the General Motors Research Lab (Elkins, Kulkarni and Tew), Dr. Thomas Olavson from HP’s Procurement and Risk Management Group, Chuck VanDam from Agilent Technologies, Colin Kessinger from Vivecon, as well as some thought provoking insights—as usual—from ChainLink’s Bill McBeath.

We also will be dedicating our webinar on April 27th to this topic with speakers from Cisco and Agilent.

We are in the middle of a research survey for our retail readers. So if you are a supplier into the retail channel or a retailer, you will want to be part of this important survey. Participants, of course, will receive a complimentary copy of the findings. To participate, CLICK HERE.

One final note, the ultimate arbiter of fairness, Solomon, understood the issues around mitigating risks and from where to get good advice...

Oh, put not your trust in princes!