This trip I headed to Indianapolis, Indiana, near as I can remember I have never spoken in this city. I think I’ve done Indiana before but never the big city of Indianapolis. This one was a quick one, in late last night with a two hour super session in the morning and now out this afternoon.
I think this is the 9th straight year speaking to the ISM group. I think I might have missed them in 2009 when they scaled back on paid speakers, other than that year I have been consistently speaking for ISM since 2007. Maybe even earlier, Kara our office manager could probably look that one up.
ISM stands for Institute for Supply Management. This organization represents the purchasing profession. They are really a good fit for financial intelligence. Since these people work with suppliers and supply chain, understanding the financial performance for vendors is critical. In years past I taught the basics of the financial statements. You know the good old income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. The sessions always have been well received but I was ready to try something new.
This year we decided to try a keynote type of presentation on ROI. That is return on investment. I recently wrote a ROI toolkit for Harvard Business Review Press and we thought that might be a good topic to try with this group. We thought that it was a good topic like the statements because purchasing leaders buy capital for their organizations. Understanding how finance analyzes these purchases might be a relevant topic. Well it turns out that it was. In the session I taught about why capital budgeting analysis is important and then taught the nuts and bolts of capital analysis.
In the session I teach NPV or net present value, IRR or internal rate of return, and payback methods of capital analysis. It turns out this was an interesting topic for the group. I ended up with more follow-up and interest in the session than I’ve had in years. Why? I think these capital budgeting concepts are issues the purchasing professional deals with a lot in their career but don’t get exposed enough to the way finance looks at the numbers and presents them. It seemed like this session really interested the attendees believe it or not. There were great questions and I had a great time. Of course training finance is always a party.
After the session I got great fish tacos at the restaurant in the JW Marriott. Yes Mahi Mahi and really good, it’s not every day one can get a good fish taco in the Midwest. So I say hats off to Indianapolis for a great lunch. What a great day for finance and fish tacos. Got to go and catch my flight. Be good until the next exciting blog.