Leadership Team  2017-2018
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Program planner

  • ISM-CB Program Jan 9, 2018
    International Sourcing - Panel Discussion
    Applebees, Kennewick
  • ISM-CB Program February 13
    Regional economic Impact

International Sourcing - Panel Discussion -  

Panel: Scott Williams, Brian Hersch and Nick Cino from Lamb Weston Trade Compliance.

Each year, more of us find ourselves using one or more foreign sources. Already buyers in some locations and industries use many international suppliers. It might be as a secondary supplier through a middleman or could be direct. Using an international supply chain brings new challenges and could require some process changes. For our January program , we thought it would be interesting to hear about challenges and solutions directly from several of our members who source internationally.

Use this opportunity to leverage our local network and come prepared with your questions. Here are some discussion ideas:

  1. Why did you make a decision to source internationally?
  2. How did you locate your source?
  3. What communication or specification differences did you encounter?
  4. What did you have to do differently in your solicitation and source selection process?
  5. What changes in your contract documents did you have to make?
  6. How did you determine your source to be a responsible and reliable supplier?
  7. How did you address possible import duties and processes?
  8. What differences in freight or transportation did you encounter?
  9. What kind of communication problems have you had?

January 9, 2018 5:30-7:00 PM -, Applebees, Kennewick. 

No host networking and dinner from 5:30 p.m.  Program starts ~6:15 p.m. Please RSVP  - rsvp@ismcb.org

Annual Risk Review

It's time for an annual risk review of long term and critical contracts.  Here's why I think so;

As we move into a new year, conditions change - some changes are market driven: competition, material sourcing, freight bottlenecks, etc.  Some changes are government caused; tax rate changes, tariffs, import/export restrictions, environmental regulations, etc.   And some changes could even be considered 'acts of god' e.g. severe weather, storm damage, crop failures, etc.  

All of these changing conditions could impact your suppliers and contractors - and eventually become issues that will affect their ability to perform. Changing conditions could materialize as delays, disruptions or cost increases.   Suppliers may simply be unable to deliver, might seek equitable adjustment and depending on how contracts are worded - might win in court (if it comes to that). Sure the buyer might also prevail, but a shrewdly written contract- that results in no delivery - will nevertheless delay / cost your operation.

Regardless of the cause - we have to be prepared for the risks to successful completion of our contracts. it is our job as contracts administrators to know the contract, understand the supply chain, be aware of the market conditions, and have a good idea of the cost pressures on our key suppliers.  As part of the contract award process, we consider the contractor's ability to perform and likelihood of successful performance.  As the old saying goes "we'll make it - God willing and the creek don't rise." Thus, if your contract depends on the contractor being able to "cross the creek" and we've had a lot of rainy weather - you probably should anticipate a delivery problem.

Over the past few months there have been a number of news reports about items that will obviously affect some contracts and some buyers. Unemployment tax rate changes, tariff changes to Canadian Lumber, trade embargos in the middle east, severe weather in the Midwest, work visa restrictions, family leave policies, etc.  As you listen to the news reports are you considering which items might affect your contracts or suppliers?  Are you being proactive about estimating the impact and developing a mitigation strategy?  You might even decide to contact the supplier first and inquire about the potential for problems, as a means of encouraging a languid supplier to wake up and take remedial action.

Here's what I'm suggesting: [note links to related articles]

  • When placing new contracts and purchase orders determine if a risk level ( you decide what the risks are - price, performance, delivery pressure, critical need (failure will shut us down or cost us money),  intellectual property,  etc.).
  • For high-risk contracts develop a simple risks outline as part of the contract award process.  This might require additional proposal information from potential suppliers, a more elaborate cost or price analysis, additional contract language (e.g. notifications, scheduling, cancellation options, etc.)   
  • In the risk outline, identify each important risk and the factors which might affect it. Also note any additional analysis or contract language which you included at the time of award to mitigate the risk.
  • Make a plan to regularly review the risk analysis outlines for critical contracts on a regular basis.  Review at the least often enough so that you are aware of the potential impact issues and will recognize those when the issue appears in the news.
  • As issues arise, take proactive action to mitigate the risk, develop a negotiation plan and prepare for the inevitable impact.

Here's an example:

Contract: xyz ACE company Term Jan 2016-Jan 2019
Risk: Labor rate increase 
Watch:  Union labor negotiations in Florida
Contractor uses significant amount of longshoreman union labor in Miami. see price analysis for labor breakout
Risk: Delivery schedule
Watch: Severe Storms in Florida
Mfg facility is in Miami. monthly delivery via barge through Gulf of Mexico

It's our job to manage the supply chain for our companies. Part of management is understanding and anticipating risks. Being proactive with a simple risk analysis is one good way we can add value.


Find more of my opinions and articles  at www.mltweb.com

Membership Renewal

Annual membership dues invoices are "in the mail".  Dues are due and payable for 2018.  We hope that will renew your membership and continue to accrue the value of having local educational programs and networking with other members. Payment can be made by check or by using a credit card via the Paypal link on our membership web page. If you have questions about dues or payment, contact Naila Prieto  Membership Director,

New Unemployment Tax Rates Released

A Heads up note for our members from our February speaker, Ajsa Suljic

81 percent of employers will have the same tax rate or lower

OLYMPIA – The Employment Security Department has issued 2018 tax rate notices to employers and updated our website with all the new information.  https://www.esd.wa.gov/employer-taxes/determining-your-tax-rates

Tax rates in all 40 rate classes remained the same as in 2017, ranging from 0.10 to 5.7 percent (not counting delinquency taxes). About 81 percent of employers will move into a lower rate class or stay the same in 2018.


• 25 percent of Washington employers will have a lower tax rate in 2018, 56 percent will remain the same, and 19 percent will move to a higher rate class.
• The average tax rate will decrease from an estimated 1.21 percent in 2017 to an estimated 1.10 percent in 2018. The average total tax paid per employee will decline by $15 to $215 per year.
• About 41 percent of all taxable employers are in rate class 1, taxed at 0.10 percent. Ninety percent of employers in rate class 1 have five or fewer employees.
• The experience rated portion of the 2018 unemployment tax (paid by rate classes 2 and higher) will be based on benefit payouts from July 2013 through June 2017.
• Unemployment tax collections are estimated to decrease from $1.06 billion in 2017 to about $952 million in 2018.

Employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $47,300 of each employee’s earnings in 2018. For an employee earning $47,300 or more, the total tax for the year will range from $61 (employers in rate class 1) to $2,706 (rate class 40).

Ajsa Suljic
Regional Labor Economist
Washington State Employment Security Department
Workforce Information and Technology Services

815 N Kellogg St., Ste D, Kennewick, WA 99363

Email: Asuljic@esd.wa.gov ; phone: 509-734-5928; website: www.esd.wa.gov 

ISM-CB Education Exchange - building a professional network.
Share educational opportunities and the benefits of an expanded professional network with your colleagues.

American Society for Quality :  www.asq614.org/

Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
Washington PTAC - February Government Contracting Opportunities, News, & Events
Ashley Coronado  PTAC Government Contracting Assistance Specialist
Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Kennewick

The Institute For Internal Auditors, Mid-Columbia Chapter

National Contract Management Association (NCMA)
 NCMA web site: http://ncmacolumbiabasin.com/index.html

Institute For Management Accountants
 IMA web site: http://ima.labworks.org/

WSU  Tri-Cities Professional Education https://tricities.wsu.edu/cepd/leadership-academy/

Emerging Tri-Cities http://www.emergingtricities.com/

ISM-CB professional network exchange is our way of encouraging communication and discussion among our members. Sharing information, expertise and experience are just some of the many benefits of membership. Networking with other members is a great way to build a professional support team.

ISM-CB Education Opportunity Calendar 2017-2018
BOD Planning calendar - send program suggestions to President@ismcb.org

June 13, 2017

ISM-CB Annual Business and BOD & Planning Meeting

July 25, 2017

ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting
Contact Cory Miller
5:30 p.m., Round Table, Richland

Aug. 22, 2017 ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting
Contact Cory Miller
5:30 p.m., Round Table, Richland

September 12, 2017

ISM-CB Program: Professional Networking
Mike Taylor , Naila Prieto, Procurement Supply Specialist
5:30 Applebee’s, Kennewick

September 19, 2017

ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting, all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,

October 10, 2017

SM-CB Program; Fraud Identification and what to look for in an accounting system
Speaker, Bill Craven CHPRC Cost/Price Analyst
ISM-CB Champion: Cory Miller
5:30 p.m. Applebee’s, Kennewick

October 15-18, 2017

Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference -
hosted by  ISM Western Washington
Seattle, WA

October 24

ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting, all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,

November 14

ISM-CB Program; Suspect/Counterfeit items, identification and issues
Speaker, Rick Warriner,
ISM-CB Champion: Kyle Root
5:30 p.m. Applebee’s, Kennewick

November 21

ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting, all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,

December 12

Program cancelled

December 19

ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting, all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,

January 9, 2018

International Sourcing Panel Discussion
Speaker(s): Scott Williams, Brian Hersch and Nick Cino from Lamb Weston Trade Compliance.
5:30 p.m. Applebee’s, Kennewick
ISM-CB Champion: Brian Hersch
January 16, 2018 ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting, all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,
February 13, 2018 Regional Economic Impact
Speaker Asja Suljic, Washington State Employment Security Department Regional Economist
5:30 p.m. CG Public House, 9221 W Clearwater, Kennewick
ISM-CB Champion: Scott Williams
February 20, 2018 ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting,  all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,
March 13, 2018

ISM-CB Program; Attracting and Retaining Suppliers
Emily Estes-Cross (City of Kennewick)
ISM-CB Champion: Dustin Wittman

5:30 p.m. Applebee’s, Kennewick

March 20, 2018 ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting,  all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,
April (tbd) ISM-CB Program; ISM-CB networking social Location tbd
ISM-CB Champion:: tbd
April 17, 2018 ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting,  all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,
May 9, 2018
& repeat
May 10
Plan Tour; Preferred Freezer Services
ISM-CB Champion: Brian Hersch
Tour participation limited to 15 each day 
May 15, 2018 ISM-CB BOD & Planning Meeting,  all members welcome
Location: tbd  Cory Miller,
June (tbd ISM-CB Business & BOD Planning Meeting
All members invited & welcome

Location: tbd  Cory Miller,
Who Are we?

Contact ISM-CB:  ISM-CB President / ISM-CB Membership Director/ISM-CB Information  / Web Site

ISM-Columbia Basin is the regional affiliate of the Institute for Supply Management a not-for-profit educational organization of over 40,000 Purchasing Agents, Buyers and Supply Chain Professionals. www.ism.ws  Local membership represents companies from Moses Lake to Walla Walla including food processing, government contractors, educational institutions, utilities and manufacturing. New members and business professionals are always welcome at ISM-CB events. Visit the ISM-CB web site at: www.ismcb.org

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