Bring the value discipline to the supply chain

This essay is about being your best self and applying it your work environment. Supply chain practitioners bring to work environment, process skills, organizational skills, supply chain skills, and financial skills. These are all important disciplines brought to the work environment. Let us not forget, though, that our best personal values is an important of the disciplines you bring to work.

Sustainability is great place to start when talk about bringing good values to your business processes. Let’s look at the environmental aspects of sustainability, a word that encompasses much more that. While the political system has had difficulty with environmental actions, many business firms decided that that where there were financial benefits to be environmental responsible, the organization would pursue them. Actually it was not the organization, it was the individual in them who took this initiative, in no small part because of their environmental consciousness. These changes have made significant dent in carbon in the atmosphere process. Yes, there are actions that organizations could take because they are not financially justified. It is better to make what progress you can, than none at all.

Supply Chain is a people business no matter how much technology is used in it. People determine what needs to move, when, at what service level, and perform the warehousing and transportation of goods. When things go wrong, people need to perform to correct the issue. In dealing with people, the values of compassion, empathy and inclusiveness are important assets and as I will discuss, a cost benefit.

In talking about values, we can start out with integrity, with its benefits of trust and ease of flow in the supply chain system. A simple example of a situation where trust is valuable.  If you know your supplier will be truthful about shipping inventory, you will not need as much safety stock of inventory as if you don’t trust that person’s statements.

But we know there are people with integrity, you can trust what they said, but do not have compassion, empathy or inclusiveness. It certainly possible you might remember a boss in your career who was not compassionate, emphatic, or inclusiveness. Think about what that would have meant if that boss did have those qualities and how much more you would have given the organization were those values there.

By nature of the supply chain, change is inevitable. That means jobs will need to change, sometimes eliminated, sometimes new ones will be established. Vendors, some long term, will find their work gone or there may be more work for them.  If you include the discipline of your best personal values including compassion, empathy and inclusion, it will help deal with the people aspects of these changes. If one doesn’t include this in your process, it increases the chance of surprise cost increases from people not working together or in some cases sabotaging the change.

Like the sustainability example above, doing what you can with the values discipline does make a difference in dealing with the ramifications of change.

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