Getting the Word Out

August 25, 2009 at 2:44 pm 1 comment

I’ll suggest that the day-to-day reality of compliance management is more about actively communicating the sets of unacceptable behaviors rather than uncovering and punishing perpetrators.   After all, the vast majority of people follow community standards of ethical behavior (except, perhaps, during rush hour).    For this reason, it’s not surprising to see recommendations like this recent one from Supply Chain Management Review.   An article discussing Gifts and Entertainment Policies best practices, includes this conclusion:

Finally, another best practice on this topic is to send an annual letter to suppliers, reminding them of the policy and expectations, alerting them to the consequences for failing to abide by the policy, and enclosing a summary of the policy for their guidance.

I appreciate the intention of clarity.   Define your standards, and communicate them to all affected parties.   But how do you do this, really?  How many supply chain managers have the contact information for all the supplier reps who might be doing the entertaining?   Sure you’ve got your contacts, but what about the other department heads’ contacts? 

And then, what about your other policies that you want to communicate?   Do you bundle this all into one extended message?  Or do you piecemeal it over time?  A “Message a Month”?

The recommendation also includes repetition.   Not just at the start of the contract, but annually.   Again, I agree.   Reinforcement, reminders, and repetition are all keys to communication and learning.

Of course, I have my own point of view here.   And it’s that Vendormate addresses this by having suppliers register on a buyer’s customized portal.   The supplier, rather than the buyer, keeps the contact information current.  This way the supplier is always informed of the buyer’s standards, just as the supplier stays current about the buyer’s product and service needs.   The web-based portal provides 24/7 availability of all policies (old, new, and in-between) and serves as the central database of record for supplier and vendor contact information for email announcements of changing policies.   

But not everyone is a Vendormate user, so, I’ll open this up for comment.   What are your real world approaches to this communication recommendation?

Entry filed under: vendor compliance, vendor management. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jane Cunningham  |  February 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    are you serious? looks like pay to play to me

    Reply

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