George Bailey: Senior executive, and advisor

Tell us about yourself

My name is George Bailey and I am a Senior Fellow for the Center for Global Enterprise and serve on multiple company Advisory Boards. . I have a lot of experience helping companies align the way that they operate with their strategy. The last 12 months have been spent helping companies get their supply chains focused on the customer and digitized their processes.  This helps all companies, maybe especially food companies,  create rewarding experience for their customers  and a resilient supply chain that can keep things working even in a crisis.

How would describe your professional career?

I started out in general management consulting, became a senior executive at IBM, was the global Chief Transformation Officer for Sony, set up the Digital Supply Chain Institute and act on the Advisory Board for Lockheed Martin. I also teach a graduate class at Pepperdine University.

Can you tell us about a time where you encountered a business challenge?

The Chairman of Lufthansa German Airlines asked me to improve the global flight catering business. I won’t go into the details, but the operations around preparing and serving food to passengers around the world is not simple!

Which supporting skills do you think are most important when it comes to leadership?

There are two skills that are most important. The first is to be able to listen to the customer and figure out what would delight them. This is a skill based on innovation, creativity and customer sense. The second is to operationalize required changes. This skill is based on disciplined execution, attention to detail, and boldness.

What steps do you take to make sure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and to the proper standard?

Monitor everything that matters to the customer and the CFO. Trust and verify the work of the team. Measure and report.

What are you passionate about?

My number one thing is getting operations tuned up to meet customer and shareholder needs.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5 years I will still be helping companies get aligned with the New Customer. The customer that has different needs than we even new about 5 years ago. The pandemic accelerated this change.

How do you see the food industry?

The Food Industry performs miracles. The world’s vast supply of food products are somehow produced and distributed in a way that works exceptionally well.

The foodeshow in 2 words


Your advice to the foodeshow community

Learn from the pandemic and be prepared for the next difficult challenge. Start by knowing your customer, and in some cases your customer’s customer,  better than everyone else. Then make sure that your operations deliver exactly what the customer wants.

Watch the panel discussion George chaired in September 2020

Sourcing: the best strategies to find the right suppliers

Table of Contents

The right supplier is to the business what a better half is to her spouse. It is the right-bone of your corporation, and finding the best supplier is as tricky as it gets. A company needs to identify the best strategies to source the right suppliers in a way aligned with the company’s goals. Therefore, the first preliminary step to strategize the procurement process is to identify the specific needs of your organization. Take budget for an example; if you do not plan to find a high-priced supplier, it will short-list the available vendors automatically. Thus, the recognition of organization-specific demands is crucial. Now let us look at how to source your supplier with the top strategies.


Finding a competent supplier is a make or break situation; hence many companies have a procurement department for the job. If you are a small company or don’t have a procurer, the best practice would be to equip your human intuition with focused and systematic criteria. These measures will include Delivery methods, Payment conditions, Time management, assurance of quality, and mutual references. If you go searching for a supplier without an excellent working, you will search for a needle in the haystack. Reviewing hundreds of suppliers without objectivity would be over-kill and efforts that are not the requirements of the task.



Procuring the quality suppliers could be either a bull’s eye or a bullet to the head. The easiest way to start the process is by sending out a call for bids, where you gather all the quotations and proposals. You could develop a questionnaire and ask the suppliers the services you require. To elaborate, you need to ask about the delivery schedule further, quality standards, work out the payment methods, and their SWOT. This survey will help you identify and isolate the desired pool of suppliers, which will be easy to choose. After collecting results, you could summarize the scope of services rendered, match them with your needs.


You need to assess all the bids by evaluating the value they could bring to your business. The idea of sourcing the right supplier is to bring value to the overall organization. Make sure that the suppliers answer all of the questions for your better understanding of the services they will provide accordingly. You could also conduct interviews where a panel of your management can discuss the services with the short-listed vendors.




You will need to analyze the supplier’s capacity. Firstly, ask for the references and reviews of their previous buyers. Then decide whether they match your requirements and their capability insured to deliver on time. The best strategy is to chart out possible outcomes and estimate the traders’ operational capacity. While on-job, you should arrange performance appraisals and treat them as one of your own. In addition, the supplier’s performance needs to match the efforts he will be putting in.




It is useful to research on their delivery techniques and the level of technology they use. Make sure the supplier has the necessary licensing and paper works. These strategies will help you nail the dilemma of sourcing a supplier, which proves best for your company.

Customs procedures for food industry sector

Customs procedures of a country need to be modernized in such a way, which encourages its food industry sector’s growth. If you are a food trader, either it is importation or exportation, customs clearance remains a hindrance in the back of your head until it is cleared. When you are selling or purchasing your food items in a foreign location, the statuary requirements of different countries vary. Therefore, one needs to apprehend the legislations and regulations of the state where you intend to buy or sell the merchandise. These obligations must be met before aiming to clear the customs.


Customs is the state department, which controls the flow of imported goods and collects fees levied by the Government. Customs agency makes sure that the animals you are trading, or perishable food items, are according to the laws of importing land. Although every country has a couple of measures specific to their geographical needs, we will discuss standard customs procedures below.

Table of Contents

Customs Documentation

Firstly, you must gather the required documents for the customs process. These compulsory papers are Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Insurance Certificate, Purchase Order, and Bill of Entry. The documented materials you include must have the perishable details of your food products. Because your products could expire, the dates and other charts need to be interpreted in the documents. Shipping paperwork is essential and could vary from country to country. You could be trading canned food, or fresh fruits & vegetables, or farm machinery; it also needs to go through proper credential work. The customs certifications or bills must be obtained to clear the customs procedure.


Customs duty

The duty paid on imports, or in a few cases on exports too, is centered on the food items’ value or the size, etc. A Foreign food trader might be exempted from customs duty in most countries. Still, it will depend on the particular state where you are headed. There could be a tariff charge as well, a tax on importation and exportation, which is decided between governments. One needs to pay all the customs related fees to speed up the procedure. Especially for the food industry sector because you don’t want your goods stuck at the port and perish.



Electronic systems

Everything is transforming into online and digital forms, and customs is no different. European Union has programmed a CDS. A food trader will need to contact the designated portal and create an application. Many countries have adopted these electronically processed applications, and you need to understand the selected state’s automated procedures if any.




The official paperwork of customs declaration provides details of shipment under trade. It would contain all the imported or exported food industry’s items in a list. Any company or individual, who is the owner of the shipment, can lodge the customs declaration by themselves or by representatives.



Inspection & Presenting the goods

Customs inspectors or relevant officials can check the shipment at any time. The person-in-charge of the consignment needs to present the merchandise to the customs office as part of the procedure.

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