Last week I made a visit to The World Bank in Washington D. C. I did training for a few departments but mainly I worked with the central purchasing group. I did not realize how large the World Bank is. The facility in our capital is impressive with a great training area and a nice open layout in a very large building a stone’s throw from the White House. The World Bank found BLI because I have done keynote presentations for the International Sourcing Management (ISM) organization for years and one of the attendees was from World Bank. We had a very good day and did not get through all of the material.
The challenge that the purchasing group at World Bank faces is evaluating financials from potential vendors that the World Bank contracts with. We talked about the big 5 numbers to look at for publicly traded companies and how to find them quickly on-line (I recommend using Yahoo Finance for that). We spend extra time on the fact that financials for any business are a representation of the integrity and competence of the management team, this true even for an audited public company.
We discussed the challenges of evaluating small private businesses that do not provide financials or if they do they will usually be unaudited. We also learned about the revenue recognition issues with project based accounting. Many of the World Bank contracts are over 10 years in duration so financial viability of partners is a big issue for this group. There were a lot of questions around these issues which made the day fly by. I enjoyed working with this group and hope to do it again in the future.
While in our nation’s capital I was able to slip in a couple of nice dinners. The first night upon arrival I hit a little restaurant called Firefly in the Georgetown area of town. I had the mini pot roast. Nice little place and my entre was great. On the second night I hit an old east coast favorite – Legal Seafood. This is a favorite of mine that was originally based in Boston but is now branching out. Let’s hope it does not get too commoditized as it grows. I had an old favorite there, the crab cake combo. You can’t go wrong with the almost all meat crab cake with grilled shrimp and scallops – always a winner.
So to sum the trip up it was a culinary and financial training success!