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ISM Conference

I just sent this blast:

I understand the ISM Conference this week in Orlanda, FL was a great success.  Attendance was the best in many years so hopefully those of you who did attend are re-charged with enthusiam.  We are still looking for ideas for our August webinar on presentations so please submit them before June 30th. 

Jim Martin
Chair – ISM Global Group

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Greetings Global Group,

Regarding the Aug 3 webinar; I recommend that we provide a post-ISM Conference supplement to Track 6: Risk Management. While I didn't have an opportunity to attend the conference, I have read several of the RM track briefings and as you would expect, they are excellent; particularly with respect to providing methodical models to identify and assess the various elements of risk in a supply-chain.

The opportunity before us is to provide our peers with 2 - 3 real-world examples of risk management in action; describing the variety of risks in a specific supply chain and the disparate systems in place to monitor them. In essence, a discussion of "Experienced practitioners offering applicable advice and real-world solutions".

For example, while my colleagues assess and procure various tobaccos from Asia, South America, Africa, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, my role is to ensure our suppliers adhere to the following: manufacturing specifications, laboratory equipment calibration requirements, product sampling and testing requirements, sanitation & contamination standards, social compliance and labor requirements, Good Agricultural Practices, US Customs (C-TPAT) requirements and other contractual covenants as outlined in our supply agreements.

In addition, we collectively monitor the various spheres upon which they operate: political (interstate and intrastate), legislative, social, environmental and financial.

To monitor such an expansive array of activity and data, we employ a variety of disparate systems; some existing and publicly available (i.e. D&B Supply Management, Factiva, MarketWatch); some custom designed such as our QA data transmission system (direct feeds from supplier labs); some are third-party audits; some are supplier provided reports supplemented with regularly scheduled meetings.

From threats to oceanic shipping lanes to data entry errors from a supplier lab technician on ‘C' shift, we're able to monitor an incredible breadth of data by employing these ‘systems'. Nothing fancy; nothing elaborate; but they work...and I'm willing to share what we do if you think it's worth hearing about.

In summary, let's design, promote and offer the type of webinar content that would be of interest to us as webinar participants. After all, we're a microcosm of our global peer group; the challenges we face are the challenges they face.

Your thoughts?

All the best!

Bud Butler

Altria Inc., International Tobacco Procurement

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