Last week, I returned to speak for the fourth time at the China Supply Chain Council on an issue I have spent a lot of time on, recalibrating supply chains. Focused on the impact that local issues and stakeholders are going to have on the supply chain’s of many operating in China,the overarching goal of the presentation was to highlight opportunities for firms to strengthen current systems as well as understand/ plan for a future where the issues of environment, economy, and society increase pressure on both the top and bottom line of the firm.
Delivered to a group of 20, my intent was to make it as tangible as possible, which is why you will find less theory and vision in this presentation and more examples of the exposures that firms face and a comparison between the steps two separate firms have taken on the same issue.
which was made interesting by the fact that a member of one of the firms was present in the room.
Key take away that I would share would be the following:
1) Firms who outsource across their supply chain are facing unprecedented pressure. Pushing them are governments … pulling them are consumers. Both, holding them responsible for the issues that their supply chains have. Even though they are not legally responsible (Thing Apple and Foxconn)
2) There are two approaches a firm can take when pressured. First, they can go on the defensive (audits, reports and, certifications) to hold off any core changes to the company in hopes the pressure fades away. OR, they can go on the offensive by understanding the issues, engaging stakeholders, and make a core recalibration that put them on a long term trajectory where they are able to open the firm up to new opportunities.