Supply Chain Matters recently had the opportunity to speak with Pamela Passman, President and CEO of on her recent visit to the Boston area.  The Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping companies, their suppliers and business partners reduce counterfeiting, piracy, trade secret theft and corruption. Pamela’s formal training is law, with a recent 15 year background serving as both Associate General Counsel and Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft.  As readers can well imagine, Pamela has a wealth of knowledge that can be offered in these important areas.

We were candidly not familiar with the work of this organization until we began working on our 2013 Predictions for Global Supply ChainsOur Prediction #9 declared that higher and more expensive incidents of counterfeit products, physical and IP theft would motivate industry players to step-up their mitigation activities.  The CREATE team pointed us to some important survey data conducted by The Conference Board. In our conversation, Pamela reinforced how her organization has indeed run across more increased senior management concern and interest in these areas. She further communicates her belief that more and more manufacturers have the opportunity to leverage their supply chains to combat corruption, counterfeiting and trade secret theft.

Pamela and I had a great conversation touching upon the history of intellectual property theft, especially relating to direct manufacturing or distribution presence within China.  As a supply chain research director for IDC, executive surveys conducted as far back as 2006 had identified protection of IP as one of the top risk concerns for manufacturers with supply chain activity extending to China. Pamela and her team provide more insights as to what has transpired in these areas and where continued risks currently exist.

The CREATE organization ican provide companies online assessments, independent evaluations, training and other resources designed to  benchmark and improve  processes for safeguarding Intellectual Property (IP) protection and preventing corruption. This organization has built a knowledge base from more than 100 companies that have been translated to a series of assistance tools.

If your organization is in need of a specialized external resource to springboard initiatives related to mitigating risks in the IP protection or corrupt practices area, you may want to consider the CREATE organization as a resource.

In the coming months, Supply Chain Matters will leverage some of the content and generalized assessment learning of this organization to aide in broader education related to these critically important areas and to shed more light on the actions that supply chain teams can undertake to mitigate risks in these areas,

Bob Ferrari