Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Terrorist's Loss, Consultant's Gain

WASHINGTON D.C. - A new study from the National Association of Manufacturers describes the "substantial collateral benefits" realized by a handful of companies in their efforts to harden their supply chains against the threats of terrorism, natural disaster and energy shortages.

"This does seem to suggest that we ought not look at investments in global security on one hand as separate from investments in business performance," said Jerry Jasinowski, president of the Manufacturing Institute, NAM's research arm, at a press event on Tuesday at the association's Washington headquarters. Flanking Jasinowski were executives from Dow Chemical, a participant in the study, and IBM, its sponsor.

That message will delight certain government officials. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, regulators at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and elsewhere have strained to convince the business community that security measures can coexist with, even enhance, the free flow of commerce. "This is really an outstanding piece of work," said Michael C. Mullen, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Policy and Planning, of the study.

Another group that will cheer the survey: technology hardware and services outfits such as IBM, Motorola and Unisys. As the government has pushed its post-9/11 trade security initiatives--among them the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and the Container Security Initiative--these companies have moved in to pick up related business.

Full story at Forbes.com