Twelve (12) days and thirty-two (32) “future” trends later and we are finally ready to unveil the third, and final, trend that is a real, true, “future” trend that will impact your business in the years to come. And this trend is even more unexpected than its predecessors as not only does it not originate within Supply Management, but it doesn’t even originate within business operations. It’s coming from out of left-field but it’s landing dead-center within your organization. So, without further ado, the final, and one of the three (3) true future trends, is the
1. Equal Rights Supply Chains
You’re probably thinking — what do equal rights have to do with supply chains? Isn’t this the LGBT Political Agenda? What do politics have to do with supply chains?
Well, everything. You see, politics have everything to do with supply chains. Even though supply chains depend on finance and information, people still have to do the work, make sure the money changes hands, and the information flows where it is supposed to. People who are only at their most productive when they are happy and content, not unhappy and discontent. And until this minority, and the people who strongly support them, get what they want, they are not going to be as happy, content, and productive as they could be, even if they try to separate politics from work as this is an issue that affects their self-esteem and well-being. As a result, the issue is going to persist in and out of your supply chain until it is addressed.
And it is going to be addressed. And when it is, it’s going to affect your supply chain in a big way. Specifically, it’s going to hit your pocket book. First of all, when equal rights laws finally pass, and more of them will, there’s going to be more healthcare and related costs because all partners, regardless of sex or religion, will have the right to be covered so the percentage of family plans is going to increase. Secondly, if you are operating in any region where these laws have passed and you don’t institute the policy across your supply chain, you’re going to risk boycotts and significant negative media within the region where the laws have passed, and the boycotts and negative media will hurt your organization’s brand and its sales. As a result, your organization probably won’t be able to restrict these benefits to specific locales, but will have to offer them throughout the locales in the same country, or region, where it operates. This means that in many locales, “labour arbitrage”, which should already be a thing of the past, will be a thing of the past. Third, and most significant, if your organization doesn’t treat this issue as a priority, current and forthcoming policies on minority consideration in government bodies could put your organization at a disadvantage in contract awards or limit the public funds that are available to your organization. This means that if your organization depends on public contracts or public funds in any way, this could someday soon be the difference between continued success and really hard times. Fourth, some big companies have already included LGBT business in their list of recognized minorities and their diversity objectives. So if your organization doesn’t also recognize the same minorities and have the same diversity objectives, that’s a black mark against your organization even before you submit the response to the RFP. In other words, if your organization is not at the forefront of the issue, it might just end up getting swept away by it.
We did it! We did it! We did it! Yeah! Hooray! Woo! We did it!
Finally, we will admit that if you dig around, you’ll likely find a few more “future” trends that were discussed in the last year*, but the majority of these that you find that it appears we skipped were trends that were, in all actuality, similar to or subtrends of trends that were already covered, or, in some cases, had absolutely nothing to do with (modern) Supply Management (and shouldn’t even be repeated as they will just confuse the issue even more). If you think the doctor missed a “future” trend that is not similar to, or a subtrend of, one of the trends discussed in this series (that was in a paper, article, SlideShare, etc. written in the last twelve months) that is related to modern Supply Management, leave a comment. If you’re right, we’ll do a “notable omissions post”.
* the doctor specifically restricted his searches to the last 12 months when researching this series.