Socially Responsible Supply Chain Managers

Socially Responsible Supply Chain Managers

Successful entrepreneur and World Express founder David Kiger has already mentioned in his previous posts the aspects required for a successful supply chain management.There is, however, something that, in accordance to today’s fourth industrial revolution, should not be disregarded by companies: social responsibility. It is not a secret that companies exist for one purpose only: to produce a profit. That is the number one reason why almost every company in the past was founded: to make money. Nevertheless, there has been an ongoing trend that requires business people, entrepreneurs, companies and people in general to be well versed in social responsibility. Companies are now more concerned about society’s welfare aside from their long-term financial goals, since, if a company manages to help society through its business, it is more likely to thrive in the future and reap success. This corporate responsibility trend often includes terms like sustainability — already mentioned —, ethics and community interactions. The need to include or, at least, bear in mind these topics obeys to historical business-related incidents from the past, as it was not common to see these issues being taught or included in marketing, management and accounting classes.

Readers might now be wondering what does this have to do with supply chain management. Well, just like any other professional, supply chain managers need to the study social responsibility. It is not a secret that in the business world there are pejorative things that should not be happening at all: hiring children, abusing coworkers and employees, having workers and employees work in dangerous conditions or under an unsafe environment, abusing from earth’s natural resources — and depleting it thereof —, producing or manufacturing dangerous, hazardous and low quality goods and products, polluting the world as a consequence of careless logistic processes and manufacturing procedures, negotiating unfair deals with either smaller companies or independent individuals — or worse: poor communities —, relocating operations causing job losses and plants to shut down, etc. David Kiger has mentioned that supply chain management is all about reducing costs, eliminating waste and generating revenue by manufacturing and distributing products and services across the world.

Courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burg at Flickr.com
Courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burg at Flickr.com

Companies cannot obviate the fact that to comply with this healthy and necessary trend they must be led by supply chain managers who are well versed and acquainted with social responsibility, for it is the only way companies will thrive through the path of righteousness. By helping to eradicate the world’s unfair business practices, supply chain managers enable themselves and their companies as agents of change, as they will be, in the end, helping to get rid of particular problems like famine and sickness through the effective and efficient purchasing, manufacturing and world-wide distribution of medicines, raw materials, commodities and food to those struck by hunger, diseases and natural disasters, like in Haiti after Hurricane Mathew.

Even the most liberal and capitalist mind would go from wondering when did business become the tool for solving all the world’s issues and particular problems to realizing that, after including social responsibility as a part of their business the capability of producing much better products with fewer materials and less energy not only is possible but way more profitable. Companies that include the most advanced social responsibility and sustainability practices are allowed to use their righteousness as a competitive tool by lobbying governments to develop more social and environmental friendly regulations which, in the end, will force all the competitors within a certain industry to go after similar results and procedures. Regulations will force them to invest heavily in technologies; 20 yeas ago, no one would have thought that so much good would have this many advantages and positive outcomes. In today’s highly developed yet unfair — not only in terms of businesses — world, complex supply chains require a committed and effective organization to truly integrate all the aspects inherently correlated with the supply chain itself: a company’s supply chain manager should be able to motivate the other parts of the chain to change, he or she should be able to come up with a new idea to redefine the way products are manufactured by thinking in new materials, modern processes, modern manufacturing techniques, new distribution models and schemes and, last but not least, modern packaging materials and strategies.

Think of the magnificence of the impact a committed well-versed supply chain manager could have on society, the environment, the world, those in need, etc. if they are willing to enable themselves and their partners as the key to providing more good to this world: not only humans but animals as well. Supply chain managers hold the key to transforming nowadays hectic and unfair world into a much better one with more equality and more opportunities; a world with companies whose purpose will also be giving back what they have taken from the earth.

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