Looking for the Leaders Who Will Shape our Future

Over the last week, meeting after meeting focused on innovation,  technology, and future directions for growth.  Times of change call for connected and coordinated leadership.  Where will we find ours?

Leadership Way

Last Monday, the week started off with a conference in Tucson where we began with a discussion about Research Universities and the Future of America.  The room was filled with leaders from Arizona’s universities, high tech industry, and government who were there to discuss and to brainstorm new initiatives based on 10 calls for action identified by the National Research Council.

Tuesday, sandwiched between meetings with local CEO’s, brought the opportunity for another leadership meeting where 20 technology and business leaders had an opportunity to meet with with Mary Miller, Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, United States Department of the Treasury and learn what was happening at the Treasury and to ask questions about key impact items ranging from the econ0my to the potential for both the Sequester and th4e Continuing Resolution in March.

Wednesday, stakeholders from across the biotech and health care industries met to work on SB1438 – Arizona’s Biosimilar Bill – while AZBio shared a presentation  with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Energy and Military on Arizona’s Bioscience Industry:  Where we are.  Where we’re going and what it will take to get there.

Thursday AZBio celebrated Rare Disease Day online and  at the State Capital sharing both information and support for patients and their families.  It also marked the beginning of two days in San Diego where we came  together with leaders from state bioscience associations, patient advocacy groups, and industry partners.  Presentations and  discussions enabled us to share ideas and create partnerships where we can work together to move personalized medicine forward faster and get life saving innovations to the patient community.

No Way Out

One theme ran consistently through all of these meetings.  There is no way out of the economic challenges we face if we work within our silos.  Success will come by working together, leveraging relationships, and combining resources to get the job done.

Innovation Highway

Arizona’s health care and bioscience industries are key growth vehicles that  move the state forward along the innovation highway with sustainable economic growth and life saving and life sustaining innovations as the destination.

Like all vehicles, we must consistently add fuel to keep our engines running and make sure that all of our vehicles are properly maintained.  This will require us to provide the support for the infrastructure that past investments have created:  our medical schools, research institutes, and university research programs.  As the same time, research without growth capital to support the commercialization engine will cause our vehicle to stall.  Creating new capital coalitions and infrastructures are our highest priorities and our greatest growth opportunities is Arizona is to compete at the top levels of our industry.

Growth Path

So, as we move along the growth path, who will shape Arizona’s Bioindustry Future?  The answer is: we all have and we all will.  Our opportunity simply accelerates when we come together – Academia, Government, Industry, Investors, and Patient Advocates with a  shared goal and a shared commitment to move things forward…faster. 

The Power of a Support Team

Last week, I boarded a plane to Michigan to join my family in preparation for my Dad’s open heart surgery.  At age 74 he was going into the U of M Cardiovascular Center for on overhaul of the quadruple bypass he had received 22 years before.  This time if was going to be a bit more complex with both the Aortic and Mitral valves severely compromised.  After several days of preparation, on Monday, January 9th at 5:30 AM, the teams assembled.  The operating team was led by Himanshu J. Patel, M.D., a specialist in surgery for thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic disease, and surgery for valvular and aortic root disease and a host of pre-op, surgical, and post-op specialists.  The support team was led by my Mom who had corralled family and friends for support and prayers.

The Expected and the Unexpected

Heart surgery is rarely routine, but lots of analysis and preparation prior to surgery told both teams what to expect.  New by-passes were needed and the the valves would need to be repaired or replaced.  The OR had been reserved for about 5 hours.  When they went in, they found the unexpected. The prior grafts from the first by-pass had fused to the breast bone creating major complications.  The team worked on Dad for almost 13 hours, cleaning up the old by-pass, replacing the Aortic valve, repairing the Mitrial and adding two new by-passes.  Out in the Waiting Room, our support team waited and communicated with friends and family around the country.  A CaringBridge and cell phones kept everyone linked.  Communications and prayers flowed.  At 8:30 PM, 15 hours after we had checked him in to pre-op, Mom led her team of family supporters into ICU to see Dad for the first time.  Surrounded by a talented and caring ICU team and a loving cadre of family and friends, it was time for the next step on the journey to health and strength.

Over the next week in ICU, Dad rode the proverbial roller coaster. He had his share of ups and downs,  but kept moving forward.  The ICU team was on hand at every turn as were family and friends who shared support on-site or via the CaringBridge for both Mom and Dad.  Updates flew over the internet with notes of encouragement coming back.  He had had 669 virtual visitors and received over 100 notes cheering him.  It was a miracle to see him sitting up and reading them on the laptop.  By Saturday night Mom was able to share:

Today was a good day for Dick!

Dear Family and Friends,
Today Dick had a successful day! His heartbeat continues to be stable as well as his blood pressure. He strolled in the hallway with his nurse and was very proud of his accomplishment – we are also.
Hopefully a bed will be available tomorrow in the step-down unit. He looks very good and has lots of conversation and stories to tell. Things are beginning to get back to normal. There is still discomfort but that is to be expected with all he has experienced.

Thanks to your prayers and support and the wonderful team at U of M he is progressing.

Tying Back to the work being done at AZBio

The last 10 days gave me lots of time to think while I sat in ICU, and there are correlations between what we have been doing at AZBio and Dad’s surgery in many ways.  We too have been on a journey back to health and strength as our industry has been riding its own rollercoaster due to the economy, uncertainty with changes in laws and regulations, and the challenges that some of our companies have faced in the  struggle to survive and thrive. But at the same time we have also seen great successes with  new breakthroughs, the assembling of committed teams, and convergence of our community both regionally and statewide.

We had our own by-pass in the area of communications as we re-established In the Loop and launched the new AZBio.org to keep the information flowing to you and about you across the web.  In 2011 we repaired or replaced support systems with the addition of the KCA team and creation of the AZBio Jobing Career CenterAZBio1 on YouTube, recognized individual and team successes at the AZBio Awards and launched theTrailblazer Awards to recognize our legislative partners.

Committed support teams in the form of our AZBio Committees are bring us back to health and strength in the areas of   communications, events, outreach, and government  affairs.  While partnerships with the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, ATIC, GPEC, The Flinn Foundation, and others connected us to the broader statewide community.

AZBio is gaining strength statewide as we continue to add both new members and renew existing members and supporters.  Our 2012 AZBio Prospectus is filled with opportunities to engage, support, and join in with the teams that are helping us build momentum.  Our rollercoaster ride is far from over, but as more and more of our community joins, provides support, and gets involved, our momentum increases.  We get healthier and stronger day by day.  If you need to join or renew you membership in AZBio you can do so here.

2012 will be a big year for AZBio and the more support we have from our members (our team) the faster we can move.  More new programs are in the works to address the key factors that YOU have told us to focus on:

  • Spreading the word on the value our community and our companies create with communication, events, and education
  • Advocacy both here in AZ and in DC too
  • Focusing on ways to access the capital resources our companies need to grow.

We’re convening the community.  On January 26th from 5:30 – 7:30 PM we will gather for an Open House at Arizona’s newest bioscience incubator, The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation at GateWay Community College.    This community open house is your opportunity to connect with our community and our 2012 leadership as we introduce the 2012 AZBio Board of Directors.  It’s your opportunity to get engaged, to show your support, and to share with us what YOU need to help your team gain more momentum too.  We’ll be looking for you there.  To register, click here.

Sometimes you need that extra edge

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, when it comes to winning in the innovation game, sometimes you need that extra edge.


Most  innovators can tell you that success is tied to a number of factors.  When they come together in the right order and with the right combinations, it can lead to a winning run.  It’s a bit like a game of pool.

You need a good break

In the game of pool, the “break” occurs when the player shoots into the racked balls to start the pool game. This break causes the balls to disperse all around the table where they may be shot at and pocketed.

In the innovation game, you may need to exert a bit a force to reorder things.  The form of our business may be shaped by process, procedure and institutional knowledge that says that this is the way we have always done it so this is the way it is done.  Sometimes it takes a a bit of applied energy to break up that old thinking and spread things out so that you can make room for new opportunities.

Scope out ALL your aim spots.

The “aim spot” is the exact spot where the cue tip contacts the cue ball or where the cue ball connects with the object ball to send it sailing towards the pocket.

Knowing where to apply your energy to effect forward movement is an art.  The best pool players know this and so do the most successful innovators.  Your first point of impact is critical.  Scanning the various opportunities spread out before you and then choosing the one most likely for success takes a combination of focus and strategy.  Select the one that is best positioned to get to that first success point while also positioning yourself for the follow up shot.  Then focus in on your first action, identify exactly where you need to apply your impact.

Be sure to call your shot

To “call” your shot means to verbally announce which ball you are shooting for and where you plan to pocket it.

In pool, if your don’t call your shot, the point does not count. In business we ‘call our shot’ by letting the team know the who-what-where-and why of our strategy.  If we don’t call it clearly, the team’s efforts are scattered and the impact is lessened.  Lack of a clearly stated direction can have your team bouncing all over the place and missing out on new opportunities or missing what you are shooting for completely.

Reach Farther

The “bridge” is where the shaft of the cue stick is rested on and where it slides when taking a shot. This bridge may either be the “bridge hand”, or the “bridge stick”, which is used when a longer reach is needed to access the cue ball.

Sometimes the shot you need is outside your personal reach.  You need a tool or a “hand” to line things up.  This may be an advisor, an investor or a strategic partner.  Whatever resource you need… use it.  Many a shot was missed when we fail to use the tools and resources at our disposal.  True innovation makes it better for all of your key constituencies – employees, customers, partners, and investors.  Bring them into the mix early and work in combination.

Master the Art of the Combination

A “combination” is where the cue ball hits one object ball into another, with the intent of sinking one of the object balls.

Innovation rarely occurs as a single event or action.  Normally it is a chain where one change can affect multiple results.  Look for all the possible applications your innovation can apply to.  Don’t limit yourself to only one.  Equally important, combine your energies with other strategic partners who can also benefit.  Use their reach and energy to move the game forward faster.

Take advantage of your edge

Innovation can give you that extra edge..but knowing how to execute will give you a chance to run the table.  So rack up those new ideas, line up your shot and get in the game.

Want impact? Draw a Services Map.

Increasing employee and customer enthusiam for greater growth and sucess

In today’s challenging business environment, creating and maintaining customer enthusiasm can make the difference between business success and business extinction.

Customers have more choices than ever before and expect higher and higher service levels relative to

  • product and service information
  • choice between service offerings
  • tailored or custom services
  • quality of delivery
  • the quality of the buying experience

Across industries, companies are discovering that of these 5 customer demands, the greatest is that of the buying experience.

While a customer will forgive a service failure that is corrected promptly by a company’s enthusiastic employee ambassador, customers will migrate quickly from companies whose employees feel disenfranchised, even if the service is performed as promised.

But what is an employee ambassador, and where do you find one?  The answer is simple, employee ambassadors are all around you.  They are each member of your organization who touches a customer – directly or indirectly.  To create enthusiastic employee ambassadors, organizations must provide a support system  to foster enthusiasm that includes:

A consistent culture that reaffirms that each employee is key to the company’s success
A commitment to process, structure and continuous improvement that allows the employee to make promises to customers and gives the employee faith that their promises will be kept.

As companies aggressively pursue the development and growth of services offerings and services revenue, it has become increasingly important, in fact, imperative for these firms to provide a consistent level of process, support and flexibility to support employees in their quest of keeping promises to customers resulting in the growth of high levels of customer and employee enthusiasm and the resultant customer loyalty and profitability.

All of us want our employees and customers to be enthusiastic about the products and services we provide.  Employees can not be enthusiastic if they feel that they can not deliver what is promised, and customers will loose enthusiasm and go elsewhere if promises are not kept.  The question is how do we create that enthusiasm and keep it?  One tool, created at Arizona State University, is the process of Services Mapping.
Cross functional teams across the spectrum of a product or service delivery create a “map” of the product and service delivery systems.  The map is broken down into five levels:

  •  Customer View & Evidence – What does the customer see in the way of marketing materials, articles, and information about the product or service that brings them to your door?
  •  Customer Contact – What does the customer experience when they first make contact  with your  Organization?
  • On Stage Employee – What are the tools, attitudes, and systems in place to support a positive employee/customer interaction and the employees confidence in making promises to customers?
  • Back Stage Employees – What are the tools, attitudes, and systems in place to support a positive interaction between the front line employee and those they must rely on behind the scenes.
  • Resources – What are the physical, financial, and technology resources on stage and back stage employees need to keep promises to each other and ultimately to customers.

The Services Mapping process:

  • Provides an Overview so employees know “What to Do” when things go right and when they don’t.
  • Identifies weak links in the chain, so promises are kept more often!
  • Defines the Lines of Customer Interaction between customers and employees so the employee recognizes where they can have the most impact to the customer experience and the company’s goals.
  • Defines Lines of Internal Interaction defined between departments
  • Provides a basis for identifying and assessing cost, revenue, and capital invested
  • Creates a baseline for use in customer satisfaction and quality improvement efforts

When service delivery processes work, promises are kept, employee enthusiasm increases and it spreads to customers.  The result is greater profits as customers stay, and more importantly, through their enthusiasm, bring more customers via  the strongest marketing tool in the arsenal, customer referrals!

About the Author:

Joan Koerber-Walker is founder and executive director of CorePurpose,Inc. and organization dedicated to helping companies grow by refocusing actions and resources into the areas they are passionate about and best at in a way that makes financial sense.

The Perfect Storm: What happened to the Supply Chain in 2000/2001 and could it happen again?


In November of 2000, Roy Vallee, Chairman of the Board of Avnet, Inc., the world’s largest electronics distributor, announced, at the Avnet, Inc. Annual Shareholders Meeting, that Avnet was seeing indicators that the Technology Boom of 2000 may not be sustainable.  This unleashed a storm of protest from analysts, investors and supply chain participants.  While today we all know that those indications were all too true, with hindsight, we, as an industry, only wish he had been wrong.  As the technology sector slowly begins the climb out of the most dramatic downturn in its history, the question asked repeatedly is “How did this happen? & “Will it happen again?”

Many hypotheses have been put forward in the last year as to what happened and why it was so extreme.  Some attribute the cause to:

  • The external environment – globalization, industry consolidation, Y2K, or the dot.com implosion and resulting telecom plunge;
  • Industry cyclicality – sharper and more dramatic cycles as the size of the industry and key sectors within it grow disproportionately;
  • Technology – our sophisticated IT systems let us down.  The forecasts were all wrong;
  • An increasingly complex supply chain;
  • Wall Street – pressure for growth driving unrealistic forecasts; or
  • All of the above – a Perfect Storm!


Pick any of the above and you can find people to agree with you as to what was responsible.  Interestingly, each of these factors is a “thing” we can point to.  We do not have to take personal responsibility because it was an external economic effect, an industry group or corporation at fault, not us.

Organizations and IT systems do not make the decisions that drive the supply chain, people do.  Each one of us represents a link in the supply chain and it is the choices we make every day that drive the outcome.  Until each of us within the industry chooses to accept this responsibility, we are doomed to face similar extreme business cycles in the future.

So, if human beings are the key factors that control the supply chain, what are the human conditions that drive our supply chain behaviors?

The Seven Deadly Supply Chain Sins

The Path of Least Resistance: In our increasingly busy roles, seeking the path of least resistance comes naturally.  Whether as engineers, we design with parts we have always used it the past (designing in parts at the end of their product life cycle or missing out on possible benefits procurement or manufacturing may gain with a more commonly available part) or as procurement and materials professionals we do not make the effort to establish part numbering standards so we truly know what we have and what we need.  At one time or another, in good times and bad, we have all fallen into the trap of viewing the old ways as “good enough” rather than making the extra effort to optimize our systems and our processes.

Self Preservation:  From birth, self-preservation is the most basic human instinct. Each of has a natural inclination to protect ourselves, our jobs, and our companies.   In times of allocation or constraint, a buyer may double order or increase forecast requirements to ensure his company gets what it needs to keep the production lines going.  In isolation this may be a small thing, but across an industry, this can create a groundswell of demand that may be unrealized as capacity is increased and product frees up.  Within our organizations we use this nature of self-interest by creating incentive programs to drive certain behaviors.  Unfortunately, these often conflict from department to department.  Thus, our materials team must keep inventory low to earn their incentive and the sales team needs product on hand so they can get the sales level they need to make their sales goals.  These conflicting interests lead to distrust and ultimately to breakdowns in communication or even distorted information as each individual protects his or her own interests.    If our lines of communication break down within our own companies, how can we provide accurate information to our partners across the supply chain?

Risk Avoidance: If as human beings we have a natural inclination to protect our selves, the next logical progression is to shy away from risk or find ways to shift the risk from ourselves to another.  In the supply chain this manifests itself in many ways.  In our contracts and legal forms we add penalty clauses and loop holes to shift the risk of doing business from us to another.  Whether it’s the quality of imperfect forecasts, the liability for service or product failures, or artificial or often unnecessary restrictions on date codes, we often spend much more time and effort constructing rules and systems to shift risk to another than we do investing together to improve processes and systems to identify and mitigate the real risks we face.

Fallibility:  “Nothing and no one is perfect.  There is always a margin for mistakes.  But naturally the other guy will let us down more often then we will err.  We must protect our selves from his failures.”    This is the thinking that leads us to greater supply chain inefficiencies – bonded inventories, excessive buffers, padded forecasts, and ultimately inventory gluts.  It is often easier to assume our supply chain partner will let us down than it is to pick the RIGHT partner and work closely with that them to develop strategy and process so both of us will be successful.

Distrust:  If everyone else is driven by self-interest, risk averse and fallible, no wonder we find it so hard to develop the levels of trust we need to share good information and partner effectively.  When we do not trust our suppliers to deliver, we compensate in the supply chain.  When we do not trust the product groups to have enough inventories, we pad the sales forecast.  When we do not trust the MRP system we tinker with it.  When numbers don’t give us the answers we need, we “adjust” them until they do.  With everyone doing what comes naturally, it’s a wonder we get any good information across the supply chain at all.

Greed:  Whether you believe that “Greed is Good” or greed is bad, the interesting thing we often forget is that greed is not just about money.  Greed is getting your “unfair share” of money, market position, market power, attention, and information.  Interestingly if you take the word greed out of the description, it reads like the objectives of many of our companies.

  • Increase Revenue & Profits
  • Increase Brand Position
  • Increase Market Share
  • Increase Market Intelligence

It is when greed gets out of control that we get into trouble.  At the peak for the last technology wave, that is what happened.  As investors we got caught up in escalating stock prices based on company projections that had little basis in financial reality or business basics.  This influx of capital created a flurry of investment in telecom systems, IT infrastructure, and other products creating a groundswell of demand.  As demand increased and supply became constrained, as buyers, we compensated within our supply chain to ensure we got our “unfair share” of what we needed.  As sellers, we raced to capture orders and market share to get our “unfair share” of this inflated demand.  And as an industry, we reeled in shock as the whole thing imploded.  And then we started looking for someone to blame.

Denial:  When we refuse to acknowledge the truth, we are in denial.  Another way to look at denial, one we got caught up in this last time around, is getting caught up in a wave of unrealistic optimism that approaches euphoria.  Things were so great in our industry and we were so proud of our strategies, our growth, and our success, that we failed to look closely at the business basics our companies were founded on.  Not only do we need to be aware of our own tendencies to get caught up in unrealistic optimism, but we must also be aware of the affect of those around us.  When our biggest customer doubles his forecast, we double ours, plus a little extra just to be safe.  So does his next supply chain partner and the next one.  Soon the forecast has grown beyond anything sustainable, even assuming that the first projection of double growth was correct.   At an industry or market level it is even more complicated.  Here, when the analysts predict the market will grow by X%, each market participant projects that they will capture their unfair share.  If you go back and add each company’s projection up, the aggregate often exceeds the level of projected growth.  These are some of the storm clouds on the horizon that signal rough weather ahead.

So with all of our faults, is it hopeless?  Are we doomed to ever increasing and sharper cycles?  NO!  Each of us, at each level of our organizations has the power to drive change in the performance of the supply chain.

Looking at the bigger picture: Whether we call it a supply chain or a supply network, the reality is that the choices, decisions, and actions of each of us, individually, link to others within our companies and across the supply chain.  If we are to truly develop the level of quality information needed to drive to success, we need to recognize the linkages to internal customers, partners, and external customers and ensure that we are sharing the highest quality information available at all times if we are to be successful in reaching optimal levels of performance.  Each of us must Dare to Innovate –

  • Design for Supply Chain Information – Providing the design engineers with not only easy access to technical information, but also information on the product life cycle of the components, their availability over time, and parts that are most commonly used within their company and within their industry to reduce the potential for stock outs in time of constraint and liability inventory in times of excess.
  • Materials Management and Procurement – Investing in resources, tools and partnerships to create solutions for standardization of part numbers and sharing that information between departments (like engineering) and other manufacturing sites around the world.
  • Manufacturing – exploring systems, tools and processes that add visibility into inventory activity at the point- of use and relaying it back through the supply chain to support lean manufacturing for lower manufacturing costs and greater inventory trend data to support improved forecasting within the materials management function.
  • Operations – establishing systems and processes to link global operations and create inventory and supply chain visibility. (This is especially challenging for international companies running on disparate computer systems)
  • Channels To Market – Ensuring that we have the right channels mix to match our products and services to the needs of our customers.  Then, ensuring that the right information and support systems to support those channels are put in place to get maximum return on the Sales and Marketing efforts across the direct, representative, distribution, and self -service channels.

Be generous with your supply chain partners:  The opposite of self-preservation and self-interest is generosity.   This willing ness to give and share freely is the key to our success as partners in the complex supply chain.  Generosity manifests itself in the willingness to share complete and accurate information to partners, not just that portion that supports what you need right now.  It also extends to the willingness to pay for the value a supply chain partner provides, and the openness to share what portions of the partners’ value proposition truly adds value.  In today’s tight financial times, neither buyers nor sellers can afford services that do not add measurable value to the supply chain process.

Understand Risks and create process improvements to mitigate them – Accept responsibility:  No business relationship is without risk, especially as you move across a complex supply chain.  The key is to mapping the process to identify the potential for problems and establishing service recovery systems to address them.  In recent years the trend has been not to manage risk, but to try to shift it across the supply chain from the OEM to the CM to the distributor or Manufacturer of the component.  For  the supply chain to work effectively and for the participants to openly share information, each supply chain partner must accept responsibility for that part of the supply chain information and risk that belongs to them.   Otherwise, innovation and trust between partners becomes impossible.

Dare to Trust/Share REAL information:  The key to being able to trust your supply chain partners is to pick the RIGHT partner, then give them complete and accurate information, set reasonable allocations of risk based on accountability for the supply chain information each generates, and then let them do their job.  Choose the right partner based on  their ability to get the job done, their track record within the supply chain and the innovations they can bring to your processes that add value and help you realize your goals.

Greed is not all bad, but blind greed is dangerous:  Wanting to get your “unfair share” is what business is all about.  However, when we blindly pursue market-share, revenue, or other business metrics beyond what the marketplace can support, we all ultimately suffer.   New innovations and businesses are developing to help us look at excess inventories across the supply chain.  Identifying these excesses and redirecting them inside our businesses, channels, industry groups or the marketplace allows us to circumvent the build-ups of inventory that ultimately lead to gluts and market declines.  As an industry we must enter into new types of relationships with our supply chain partners to add greater transparency to not only the product we need for the future, but also the residual inventory that is left sitting across the supply chain.  By increasing this visibility, we get a better picture of what is needed, what is left over.  We then have the opportunity to shift the resources back through the chain and put those assets to work for us rather than pushing them off to a partner as a liability.

Temper Optimism with Realism: At the height of the boom, optimism was at its highest point.  The cyclicality of the technology industry was “a thing of the past” and business was continually headed up and to the right.  As the market drastically corrected, reality set in and we all scurried for cover, drastically cutting back on our product requirements, canceling orders and pushing as much liability away from our selves and back towards our supply chain partners.    In the darkest days of the downturn, we lost our optimism and trust in each other, cut our costs wherever we could and battened down the hatches to ride out the storm.  Looking around us, we hoped that we would make it through and knew that some others may not.   Today the storm clouds are beginning to dissipate and many analysts predict that we are starting a slow recovery from the Perfect Storm that started in 2000/2001.  As we move towards recovery, there are lessons we have learned that point us towards smoother sailing in the future if we choose to heed them and learn from the painful times we have been through.  We must hold on to the optimism that better times are ahead, and invest accordingly, but we must also temper that optimism with a never ending awareness of the market forces swirling around us and not be afraid to raise the storm flags when optimism conflicts with market reality.

So, to answer the questions we started with:

How did this happen? Because we let it.

Will it happen again?  By the nature of technology, there will always be a measure of cyclicality in our industry, but the shape of those cycles is up to all of us based on our supply chain behaviors.   Eventually, there will be other storms in the high tech industry.  It is our choice if we sail right into them, as we did this time, or if we plot a new course, one marked by the sharing of accurate and complete supply chain information between partners, a willingness to be held accountable for our supply chain information and decisions, and a willingness to take the time to find the RIGHT partners and then give them what they need to support us across the supply chain.  How will you chart your course?


About the Author:

Joan Koerber-Walker is the founder and CEO of CorePurpose, Inc

With 20 years of experience in technology distribution, Ms. Koerber-Walker has held a wide range of positions in Management, Marketing, Sales, and Operations. She was instrumental in the development of Avnet’s ASIC/FPGA business and the launch of Avnet’s first Telesales operation. She was also responsible for management of the Global Supplier Contracts Administration process for Avnet’s three operating groups (Electronics Marketing, Applied Computing and Computer Marketing) and worked closely with over 700 technology partners worldwide.  With a focus on matching service expectations to operational processes, Joan brings expertise in the area of industry best practices in both channel operations and channel design.  Ms. Koerber-Walker holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Delaware and an MBA with honors from Arizona State University.  She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Vice Chairman  of the Dean’s Board of Excellence at ASU and a member of the Executive MBA Advisory Board at ASU.

Based in Arizona, CorePurpose, Inc. provides enabling services that allow all stakeholders (clients, Core Alliance Members, employees and investors) to focus on what they are Passionate About and Best At, within a model that makes financial sense.  CorePurpose is a services aggregator specializing in the areas of Marketing, Sales, Business/Organizational Development and Supply Chain Management.