by Hank Boerner – Chair & Chief Strategist, G&A Institute
“Ethical sourcing” — we see that term used a lot by companies that are systematically addressing issues in their sourcing and supply chain management to better understand and address (and better manage!) the various issues that their investors, customers, employees, business partners, and other stakeholders care about.
What is “ethical” behavior, to be found in the layers-upon-layers of suppliers in the usual corporate globalized sourcing effort? How do we define this?
As we sometimes hear in the poetic notion, little things can have substantial impact; think of the the butterfly wings’ flapping and fluttering in Brazil that can have effects all the way north as expressed through the hurricane winds hitting Mexico and in the tornado whirlings on the American Gulf coast.
This “butterfly effect” (part of the chaos theory portfolio) has counterparts in the supply chains of companies sourcing from near and far lands.
An example shared: Poor working conditions in the Bangladesh factories have been brought to consumer attention by United Kingdom news reports; the Asian-produced goods (such as T-shirts) end up on retailer shelves with “Spice Girl” branding. Irony: the shirts were part of the Comic Relief Event campaign staged to raise money for “gender justice” – and the Bangladesh female workers made 30 cents an hour under hostile working conditions (details are in our Top Story).
Writing for Forbes (brands), contributor Richard Howell’s shares his thoughts in our Top Story. “Social, economic and environmental sustainability should be at the heart of every supply chain…” he writes.
He posits that consumers are looking to buy from companies that have a preferable design, sourcing, manufacturing, delivery of goods & services…and that operate assets and equipment in an energy-efficient, safe environment (for team members and the environment). Howell spells these out in his commentary.
So – what is ethical? Among other things, fair wages, better working conditions and gender equality in the global supply chain that is sustainable as well.
This week’s Forbes commentary is by contributor Richard Howells, a 25-year veteran of supply chain management and manufacturing who describes himself as “responsible for driving market direction and positioning of SAP’s Supply Chain Management and IOT solutions.” He’s worked on systems for such brand-facing companies as Nestle, Gillette, and others.
This Week’s Top Story
Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want: A Sustainable Supply Chain
(Thursday – January 31, 2019) Source: Forbes – Social, economic, and environmental sustainability should be at the heart of every supply chain