Daily Archives: June 11, 2013

Is Your Supply Management Ethical?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Ethics are becoming more important by the day. Just ask BP, the Gap, Chick Fillet, and Monsanto, who have all had to deal with Boycotts in recent years (for oil spills, supply chain factory fires resulting in worker death, stance on gay rights, and genetically modified food). You don’t want to get caught in the cross hairs of an organized activist group like PETA, GreenPeace, or Anonymous.

It only takes one slip up somewhere in your supply chain to become the target of globally organized boycott. Thus, you need to take a step back and ask if your supply management is ethical.

A code of Supply Management conduct, as described in The Procurement Game Plan, is a good start, but it’s not enough. You also need a supplier code of conduct, and you need to insure that not only do your suppliers honour the code of conduct they agree to, but themselves have a code of conduct for their suppliers. The buck stops with you, so you are responsible for making sure the buck is spent ethically. Turning down free World Cup tickets from a potential supplier is a good start, but making sure the supplier adopts a code of conduct that prohibits them from even offering such a wasteful, lavish gift in the first place is better — especially if that money is redirected to safety improvements and community programs for its workers.

Supply Management Ethics provide the foundation for CSR, so it’s important that your organization get them right. One of the experts on this topic is Stephen Guth, Chief Corporate Counsel and VP Vendor Operations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and author of The Contract Negotiation Handbook, The Vendor Management Office, Hotel Contract Negotiation Tips, Tricks, and Traps, Project Procurement Management, and a set of free Procurement Contract Templates. This fall, Stephen is going to be giving a session on Building a Strong Foundation with Supply Management Ethics at the NLPA Conference where he will go beyond the usual horror stories of supply management professionals in jail jumpsuits and look at supply management ethics through the eyes of a forensic auditor. In this session, you will go beyond the process of learning how to put a code of conduct together and learn what investigators look for, who is most likely to violate supply management ethics, and why. You’ll learn how to identify potential problems and violators before they occur.

If you haven’t already, consider registering for the NLPA Conference today.