We already know governments can be a daily source of damnation, and even though we’ve directly or indirectly addressed some of these damnations in our coverage of Waste Legislation (15), Customs Acts (28), Trade Embargoes (29), TPP & the Poison Pill (30), Tariffs (34), Labeling (36), and, especially in Consumer Damnation 71 Government, we’re going to discuss governmental actions again because, from a geopolitical perspective (as opposed to the environmental, consumer, and regulatory perspectives where the government has already received a significant amount of coverage in our damnation series to date), there is still so much more that they can do to make your job living hell.
Here are just a few of the damnations they can create that will cause you never ending nightmares.
If a budget can’t be agreed upon by a deadline, or a budget is exceeded and an overspend is not approved, until such time as the budget, or overrun, is approved, any an all payments owed to your company are on-hold. If you desperately need that cash for daily operating expenses for the big order you just delivered before the freeze, tough luck. Let’s hope you can get invoice financing or a bank loan when an expected payment date is unknown. But this is not as bad as a
State of Emergency
In a State of Emergency, you may be forced to supply goods or services to the government and/or consumers at pre-approved rates, even if such rates could net you a loss due to increased production or delivery costs in the state of emergency, and even if such goods were earmarked for sale to another customer in another locale willing to pay a premium rate. Even worse, you could be forced to deliver those goods when there is a budget freeze on, which not only prevents the organization from being paid for an unknown amount of time (and a restricted cash-flow severely hampers Procurement when the organization cannot pay its suppliers), but also clears it of inventory. Then, as we all know, there is no sale, no store.
New Legislation Outlawing Your Product or Service
As makers of betting and lottery technology, radar detection units, and even video game consoles know all too well, a single incident of consumer outrage or, even worse, the single minded focus of an effect lobbyist or lawmaker can result in your primary product becoming illegal almost overnight. Then the organization can be stuck with a glut of inventory, ironclad contracts (with huge penalty clauses), and, sometimes, no (obvious) way to get the product to where it might still be legal to sell the product in a secondary market. But yet Procurement will be expected to save the day and get the contracts nullified in exchange for new contracts for other, still legal, products, get rid of the inventory, and manage the paperwork hell that will ensue.
Criminal Charges against your Organization and/or Executives
Even if your organization unwittingly broke the law as a consequence of a rogue employee who broke the rules (despite training and policies in place to prevent it), a contractor, or a supplier that you couldn’t monitor as closely as you’d like, your organization could still be the organization brought up on charges. If an authorized party, acting in the interest of your business, makes a bribe, conducts business with a terrorist (organization), or purchases from a supplier that uses forced labour, you’re on the hook. And since Procurement is ultimately held responsible for policies and purchases, the heat will be coming down hard on Procurement.
There are, of course, a dozen more areas where government actions can pile on the damnation, but as these are among the nastiest that have not yet been covered in this series, we feel we’ve made our point. Enjoy the heat. (On the bright side, at least you’re not freezing in the cold northern winter.)