Monday 7 April 2014

Russian Sanctions - Part 2

By Richard Hogg

Following on from part 1, when I ended up sharing a bed with a client, we continue to look at the theme of sanctions...

So, how was our transformation phasing viewed?

On first draft review by the appropriate supply department representative – we were knocked back – and had to completely re-work the entire piece overnight. And translate. And reverse the slides right to left. And print.

Basically, rework everything.

Whilst our initial phasing of savings opportunities and short-term process efficiencies was lovely, they were of no real interest. The procurement and supplies team were most excited about improving their reputations, at an organisational, departmental and critically personal level.

Their main question was: “As we’re moving towards the relaxation of sanctions - how do we prove to the local, regional and global supplier community we’re working against corruption, favouritism and generally raising the desire of suppliers, indeed any supplier, to do business with us?”

Many of the team had undergone CIPS, Masters Degrees and other executive training in the UK and European countries, but were embarrassed by how restricted they were by the sanctions to deliver quality work and be treated with respect.

It was deflating to see genuinely professional, smart and enthusiastic procurement folk being constantly knocked back and treated as lesser individuals.

So, remember this: whether or not sanctions are appropriate or indeed commensurate in certain cases, those who are most negatively impacted by any form of trade restrictions - both professionally and personally - have very rarely had anything to do with the root cause of the problem.

As Guillaume and I learnt quickly, a little personal respect goes a very long way. It creates some long lasting relationships and memories, as well as a wider perspective we had not previously considered.

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