Thursday 27 March 2014

Russian Sanctions – Implications for the procurement and supply chain community?

By Richard Hogg

So, the sanctions finally take hold…

Now, not wanting to get stuck into a twitter-book-sphere trend on whether this is specifically appropriate or commensurate in this instance, the informal comments by my colleagues whilst brewing tea have been surrounding general implications of sanctions. What does this mean across the buy-side and sell-side communities, specifically for the good procurement and supply chain folk out there?

Without crawling over volumes of historical evidence, I can call on some relatively recent and personal experiences working in heavily sanctioned environments:

Sanctions drive interesting behaviours, at a personal and organisational / national level, and frequently in areas unexpected.

Roll back to 2007-2010 and I, along with my colleague Guillaume, was involved in projects in Libya* to support assessment of how procurement-enabling technologies could help transform the procurement / supplies function for a Government owned natural resources organisation (although you probably could have guessed that).

Filled with pre-conceptions, we prepared, double and triple checked that anything we were going to be saying would be acceptable to the ‘stakeholder’ community – both present and omnipresent.

We decided we’d go with an achievable variation of traditional transformation phasing, with a technology enablement angle:

1. Savings opportunities
2. Process efficiencies
3. Strategic process governance and auditability
4. Wider supplier collaboration and strategic engagements.

So, how did it go? Well, not at all how we’d anticipated…  Tune in to the next post to find out…

Any sanction-like circumstances you’ve found yourself in? We’d love to hear!

* (the last visit was ~10 days prior to the Spring uprising in bordering countries, leading to an influx of people to Libya and overbooking of already overbooked hotels. I shared not only a room, but a bed with a client!)

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