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A changing of the guard at ISM

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 31, 2011

Every month, I write about two reports from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM): the Manufacturing Report on Business and the Non-Manufacturing Report on Business. These reports do an excellent job of serving as accurate and timely benchmarks of what is happening in the economy.

Along with these reports providing excellent data and information, one of my favorite parts of covering them for the Peerless Supply Chain Group’s Websites is that I get to interview incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable people that are truly experts in these subject areas.

On the manufacturing side, my contact has been Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee Chair. But the ISM recently announced that Ore has retired after more than 15 years on the job.

I will certainly miss my monthly interviews with Ore. Over the past 15 months or so, we developed a solid rapport which got more detailed as the months went on. Thanks to his ability to break down often complicated subjects in ways which I could communicate them to my readers was invaluable on multiple fronts.

What’s more, he did it in a way which told both the big picture and the little picture, which, in turn, helped me to think about the manufacturing sector in ways which I previously did not before—especially when it came to the business of the manufacturing supply chain, which is of primary importance to all of us.

It did not matter what we discussed. It could be inventory levels, employment, pricing, you name it. Ore always put the ISM data into perspective, as it related to the everyday economy. That is no small task when you take into account the wild economic ride we are still on.

I mean this insight from Ore is hardly surprising, given his accomplished supply background, including serving as a supply chain consultant and recognized supply management leader known for global strategy and technology implementation in Fortune 500 companies including Georgia-Pacific, Chesapeake Corporation and Sonoco Products Company.

Ore will be replaced by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, senior vice president and CPO for Dallas-based Dean Foods. Holcomb, like Ore, also has a highly impressive supply chain pedigree, including holding executive-level procurement and supply management positions at Royal Group Technologies, Waste Management Inc., American Precision Industries and Praxair Inc. According to the ISM, his early career was with Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, where he held a broad range of management positions over a 20 year period and led the effort to globalize procurement by developing and implementing worldwide processes and best practices.

I had an opportunity to speak with Holcomb while on an interview with Ore earlier this year, and he certainly appears to be up to the task for the ISM. I look forward to getting his “in the trenches” view of the manufacturing sector.

Norbert J. Ore will be missed by LM, and I look forward to speaking with him in the future. And at the same time, I welcome my future correspondence with Bradley J. Holcomb.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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