Strategic relationship management and governance (SRMG) in the absence of a strong operational framework can be challenging in the best of times. As we are all too aware, these are not the best of times. Over the past six months, we have faced enormous challenges; the speed of change and the need for quick decision-making is unprecedented.
As the world struggles to recover and our workplaces, global supply chains, manufacturing and logistics cautiously rebound from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grappling with what the future holds. Our strategic relationships will require flexibility and scenario planning that incorporates significant uncertainty as we face challenging times ahead.
Partnerships between clients and service providers are being tested like never before. These partnerships require an SRMG framework that adapts quickly to change. You should identify pain points as well as processes or services that must be added or changed to accommodate shifting priorities and workplace requirements.
The pandemic raises many critical questions that must be addressed as we consider what the workplace of the future will look like, and strong SRMG will be essential.
Here are a few critical questions to consider:
Does your contract with your strategic partner have the flexibility you need in the current environment?
Every business has had to adjust during the pandemic. Is your contract holding you to an agreement that doesn’t make sense in the current environment, or requiring your partner to perform in a way that doesn’t suit your current needs? It may be time to renegotiate a new contract that has the flexibility that you and your strategic partner require.
The concept of sustainable sourcing, also known as green purchasing or social sourcing, is nothing new. Sustainable sourcing is impacting nearly every area of corporate business and the consumer’s mindset. Everything from sourcing materials, talent attraction and consumer purchasing habits are changing because of the growth of sustainable sourcing. However, the term gets thrown around in the procurement industry quite a lot and is often misunderstood or misused. So, here’s a guide with all the basics you need to know about sustainable sourcing.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE SOURCING
First and foremost, we have to define the term. Sustainable sourcing is the integration of social, ethical and environmental performance factors into the process of selecting suppliers. It includes purchasing sustainably preferable products and services (products made from recycled or remanufactured materials), as well as green purchasing guidelines that might pertain to certain products or commodities.
America’s love affair with e-cigarettes evaporated quickly as millions of users were recently confronted with unnerving news—their vapes could actually contain toxic chemicals powerful enough to be deadly.
The CDC issued words of caution on September 27, “Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products off the street.” The sentiment is clear—consumers need to avoid e-cigs from potentially shadowy manufacturers and distributors fed by an unregulated supply chain.
Duty to the Consumer
E-cig manufacturers have a responsibility to pinpoint precisely what in their products is harmful, just as distributers must be confident they are only carrying reputable items that are sourced through a responsible supply chain. Many vaping products have been found to contain illegal synthetic marijuana, even when consumers believed they were buying THC-free products such as CBD pods.
In an industry as young and unregulated as e-cigs, it’s not surprising an unknown health consequence was lurking on the horizon. Consumers had no idea what ingredients or manufacturers to be wary of because no one yet knew there was a concrete hazard.
Liz Mantovani, CSP, CSMP, C3PRMP, Director of Operations, SIG
SIG University Certified Supply Management Professional (CSMP) student, Justin Kline, works at Canon. In this blog, he shares his learnings about the pivotal role of executive sponsorship in governance transformation and how his team plans to implement some of the best practices within his job function and organization.
In this program, SIG University students will comprehend the significance of governance, risk and compliance. They’ll understand the various levels of supplier management governance, including corporate, business unit and contract level activities. They are also able to select the appropriate governance program, and key components, for each relationship model. They gain an effective understanding of how to capture and activate innovative ideas through the governance structure, in addition to describing the critical tools to use in implementing a governance program.
At Canon, I am responsible for scoping and delivering outsourced services to our customers. Today, our customers are looking to Canon not only to take over a business process but also to assist or lead the transformation of the process simultaneously. These types of projects require more time, resources and investment by both sides to achieve targeted results. This level of investment and risk makes these projects higher profile.
Since transformative change is disruptive and typically requires a paradigm shift within the organization, it necessitates the right types of governance to manage successfully. One of the critical elements of ensuring a transition plan is effectively met is having the right level of executive sponsorship and involvement.
With so much attention currently focused on the political arena (most obviously, of course, in the USA with the inauguration of President Trump) it’s easy to become carried away in one’s assessments of the extent to which “politics” drives actual change. Of course, there’s no doubting the scale of the significance of the Trump election, or the Brexit vote, or similar “watershed moments” – but the nature of that significance is somewhat less clear, especially when it comes to the impacts on specific aspects of our lives. It’s somewhat comforting (or perhaps not, depending on one’s affiliation) to think that the person nominally in charge of a country is indeed that – it plays to our natural human desire for order, comprehensibility, justice – but in a world as interconnected and complex as this one, is it not a serious error to overstate the ability of a President Trump, a Prime Minister May and others in similar positions around the world truly to steer a course, rather than simply to keep their ships of state upright in the storm?
Look at the sourcing and outsourcing space specifically. In a number of particular areas President Trump could well have a huge impact: a crackdown on immigration and the offshoring of work, changes to NAFTA, the reversal of the ACA and other policies would affect very substantially certain tranches of the space and those working within them. Likewise, in the UK the way Theresa May is approaching the exit from the EU and the Single Market has deep significance for businesses working in and with the United Kingdom for data protection, for accounting and a host of other areas.
I'll admit it. I was pulling for the Broncos. I know there are two sides to every story, and something preceded Richard Sherman's less-than-gracious on-screen comments in his interview with Erin Andrews after the 49ers playoff game...but all I heard were HIS comments, and they were enough to turn me into a Broncos fan for the Super Bowl. Of course, the fact that Seattle beat my home team to GET to the Super Bowl was also a contributing factor...but I digress. The real reason I bring up yesterday's lopsided game, was that in a very strange way, it made me think about governance and supplier relationships. Why, you ask? Well, it's simple. If you don't set out the terms of a relationship and have a proper governance plan in place, you can end up with a very imbalanced set of understandings, which can have a disastrous result. In a blog posting on governance several months ago, I spelled out my thoughts in a detailed manner, including organizational structure, stakeholder involvement, cultural alignment, milestones, deliverables and goal linkage. Without a doubt, those are all critical, but for the purpose of this "post game report" I'd like to focus on what I consider to be two of the most important components in just about anything.
About eighteen months ago, at the SIG Global Leadership Summit in Seattle, we concluded the event with an evening at "Lucky Strikes," an upscale bowling alley and billiards hall. For those of us who work for SIG, most of the heavy lifting for that event was behind us. It was Thursday night, which made it time to enjoy the fruit of our labors with our members. I don't know about most of you, but I for one become a better bowler as the night progresses. Liquid courage, perhaps...or maybe it's that I put too much pressure on myself to do well and if I don't, I embarrass quickly. Against my better judgment, I joined a few members and colleagues in a game. Yet, imagine my horror when in the first frame I threw not one gutter ball, but TWO. Mortified beyond belief, I removed my bowling shoes and walked away from the game without looking back, even with my colleagues encouraging me to stay. Having grown up with a pool table, I moved on to the billiards room where I knew I could build my confidence. After playing a few rounds, I went back to check on my friends who had continued bowling without me. One of our members — a fairly athletic guy, I might add — was not doing too much better than how I imagined I would have done if I'd had the courage to continue. And yet he did what I had been unable to do — he stuck with it and had fun despite his low score. Again I found myself being talked into joining a game one lane over. I did so fairly reluctantly, as I was still reeling from my earlier failure...but only agreed to play because the bowlers in that lane had the bumpers up, and I knew it would be nearly impossible to throw a gutter ball! With the confidence I had lacked in the game that I'd abandoned like a coward, I bowled my first ball straight down the lane, knocking down eight pins. Phew. The idea that I would fail again was looming over me, and yet I bowled not just decently, but with gusto, throwing spares, strikes and respectable scores frame upon frame.