A Disney Tip for Dealing with Supply Chain Anger

Are you experiencing a lot of supply chain anger? Then the Mouse House might be able to help with this key tip.

Supply Chain Anger

For the video version of this article, click here.

Angry people – they’re everywhere. Most you can avoid, but some you just have to deal with. Especially if they’re your customers or suppliers (two of the essential ingredients for your supply chain or procurement company!).

Why Dealing with Anger Is Important

Have you ever contacted a “customer support’’ service either by phone or email and had a really negative experience? I’ll bet you have.

Have your angry emotions bordered on rage or thoughts of wanting to abuse that company out of sheer frustration? I’ll bet you have.

Did you tell your friends, share that distasteful experience through social media, leave a negative review or contact a government regulatory body? Or simply make a commitment to NEVER EVER do business with them or their product again? I’ll bet you have!

Not good for business!

Dealing Effectively with Supply Chain Anger

So how can you deal effectively with angry customers or suppliers?

Heard of Disney? You know that incredibly successful business icon of theme parks, movies, cartoons, products and people management? They must be doing something right if they can deal with 100+ million people a year at their theme parks and still have raving fans.

Odds are they’re bound to get their fair share of irate or unhappy people! So what technique do they use?

A wonderfully simple technique called H.E.A.R.D. 

1. Hear (it involves listening)

That’s right, let the person tell their story. Just hope it’s not “A Never Ending Story…”! People who have had a chance to ‘let rip’ with their perceived injustices usually feel better.

2. Empathise

Let them know you understand their frustration. Comments like, “I can see how that would make you really angry”, are helpful. When you’re saying this, be mindful of your tone and voice inflections, or they might think you are insincere.

3. Apologise

Let that person know that you are sorry about the situation, product or service issue. Say something like, “I’m really sorry that this has happened to you”.

If you know your company is not at fault, diffuse the outrage by saying, “Can I offer my apologies? I’m always sorry when a customer is unhappy”. Once again sincerity must be obvious.

4. Resolve

Get the situation under control quickly and make amends. If you can’t do it right away, give that person a clear timeline when someone else will rectify the issue.

Be specific who it will be. Give a name if appropriate. People want to connect with people, not a “service or complaints team”. Keep the person in the communication loop of what’s happening.

Saying something like, “Mr Smith, would it be ok with you if I call you back this afternoon and let you know the progress on this? What time works best for you?”

Diffuse, Diffuse and Diffuse a bit more…it works!

5. Diagnose

Get your detective on and find out what happened. Was it a product fault, wrong or late order, delayed payment, or was it miscommunication and customer or supplier expectations not being met?

What systems or change in procedures could prevent or minimise these issues reoccurring? Systemic problems may need to be pushed up the food chain for attention and action.

A good manager will listen to suggestion on improvement from staff at the coal face. After all what Supply Chain Company wants increasing complaints and the fallout from that?

In Summary

Dealing with supply chain anger, and customer or suppliers complaints, is often a part of doing business. If you can manage those complaints in an ordered and sincere way, then your company is going to be in front of your competition.

Because most businesses don’t handle supply chain anger very well at all. Sometimes just asking that irate or angry person, “How could I solve this issue for you “and listening will give you an obvious starting point for resolution.

It may not actually be that complicated.

Big Ideas 2015 Flashback: The Disappearing Procurement Function

We’re looking back at some of the most popular ideas from Big Ideas 2015. Peter Smith talks about the disappearing procurement function.

Peter Smith, Owner and Managing Editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe, shared a more controversial view than other delegates for his Big Idea, that the procurement function would cease to exist in its own right in the next decade.

As a former Head of Procurement, and CEO of CIPS, Peter is uniquely placed to share this view of a disappearing procurement function. Peter believes that as organisations realise how much value procurement can add, and how much value they should be getting from it, they will realise that it’s too important to be left as it’s own function.

This will lead to a situation where every manager will be charged with getting the most out of their budgets and out of their activities, and to add value to the organisation.

Peter also argues that as technology advances and makes information more available to a wider audience, it disintermediates the procurement function. By making the data more transparent, it’s not just procurement who have access to it and can leverage it, but the whole business.

 

See more Big Ideas from our 40 influencers from the Big Ideas Summit 2015 on Procurious.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Big Ideas Summit 2016, visit www.bigideassummit.com. You can also join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Your Number 1 Resolution – Learn Something New

This is the time of year when most of our resolutions (lose 10lbs, get back to the gym, drink less, do something useful for the community) have fallen by the wayside. There’s one thing you can still do to make a difference in your life – learn something new.

Learn Something New

If you are a millennial, you probably know plenty about social platforms and the innermost workings of WhatsApp, but what about taking a course in supply chain dynamics or an appreciation of jazz? You can learn about almost anything on-line, and most of it is free.

Find a MOOC to suit you

MOOC stands for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). These courses are offered by universities and other quality education providers via the internet and are free. There is a huge range of subjects that have quality content, although they do not normally provide certificates or academic credits on completion.

Many of the courses are developed by universities, but are structured and presented by training organisations, like edX, using specific technology that supports interactive and other forms of on-line learning. When you sign up, you are committing to the class time and assignments (which is good). You can register for classes offered by many leading USA and UK universities including Harvard, Stanford and Yale.

What are the course options?

The choices are vast. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a leader in this field. It is “dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.”

They have courses that will teach you how to manage and harness the dynamics and interactions between firms and other entities within a supply chain. They also have courses like Drugs and the Brain and Introduction to Algorithms.

There’s a course coming up at the University of West Virginia called The Science of How Communication Technology Shapes Our Social Lives. Presumably this will be suited to more mature students who are bemused by the growth in the use of hand-held devices and mobile technology.   

Some courses are on not on a fixed schedule but are self-paced, and more suitable to those of us with challenging day jobs. Social Media Marketing for International Business from the University of Salford’s Business School is one of those that you can fit in with other extra-murals. 

It’s not all about work

If that all sounds a little heavy, how about a Jazz Appreciation Course from the University of Texas? You can listen and learn about the artists, eras, and musical methods that make jazz a great original art form. Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker. John Coltrane. You’ve heard their names, but do you know what makes them great? It doesn’t even sound like work!

You can try Lynda.com for video-based courses on Photoshop or Lightroom, which cost a small fee. These are great skills to have for improving the visuals in your slide presentations and management reports. How about learning something that will let you have a serious conversation with your I.T manager without feeling inadequate? The Khan Academy is a well-established not for profit organisation that provides free courses on many subjects.

If you want to try something that is directly related to improving your skills on the job, how about: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel or Career Edge: Communication and Teamwork. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something!

Big Ideas in Social and Sustainable Procurement

Considered by many to be the next key frontier for business, Social and Sustainable Procurement are finally getting the attention they deserve.

Sustainable Procurement

Ahead of the Big Ideas Summit 2016 on April 21st, we are taking a look at the key issues facing procurement in the coming years. We have asked experts and influencers in our community to share their Big Ideas on the themes we will be discussing on the day.

Here, our experts and influencers share their thoughts on the Big Ideas impacting organisations in the fields of social and sustainable procurement.

Matt Perfect, Founder of Something Great – “Impact Spending and Social Impact Measurement”

Big Ideas in Sustainable Procurement - Matthew PerfectI believe “Impact Spending” is the next frontier for defining ‘value’ in procurement. That is, spending on goods and services with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact, alongside economic benefits.

Some might say that the history of procurement can be traced by our broadening definition of value. In the old days, our decisions were mostly price-based with little regard for ‘value’ at all. The evolution of strategic procurement brought with it a greater understanding of the importance of quality and service and the ‘value for money’ equation was born. Increasingly, risk and innovation have been added to the mix, and evaluation models such as Total Cost of Ownership have become much more sophisticated.

It is becoming increasingly apparent (both in theory and in practice) that organisations can no longer separate their profitability and growth, from the impact their activities have in society. As such, procurement and supply professionals must be able to account for, and measure, the impact of their spending.

There is much the profession can learn from the emerging field of social impact measurement. By incorporating such measures as Social Return on Investment and Theory of Change into spending decisions, we will unlock the next wave of procurement value for our businesses.

Charlotte Spencer-Smith, Marketing at POOL4TOOL

Big Ideas in Sustainable Procurement - Charlotte Spencer-SmithRegulatory pressure on companies to report on CSR criteria in supply chain is increasing – the UK Modern Slavery Act and the Dodds-Frank Act in the US are recent examples. ISO/DIS 20400, currently under development, will provide clearer guidance about what is expected from organisations wanting to implement sustainable procurement.

Improved supply chain transparency will put pressure on procurement organisations to build category-specific strategies and make sourcing decisions with sustainability in mind. Criteria, such as sustainability and labour ethics, will be increasingly included alongside financial and risk data as factors that go into processes like supplier management, sourcing, and contract management.

Extended information and third party content, specialising in sustainability data for supply chains and procurement organisations, are on the rise. But it will soon be indispensable to have this information deeply integrated into people, process, and technology to make CSR-positive sourcing decisions as easy as possible.

It’s a crucial part of the wider picture of value-based sourcing: developing sourcing decisions beyond the purchase price.

Jordan Holzmann, Founder and CEO at Cruxcee

Big Ideas in Sustainable Procurement - Jordan HolzmannIn terms of the now, we are seeing procurement take an interest in what role they play in sustainability. Procurement is realising that they can make a huge impact in the way they source through the supply chain.

This is exciting to procurement professionals as their job now has a new lease on life, and they aren’t just feeling like they are saving money and going through the process of buying stuff. This will shape the procurement profession in the future too, as it becomes more strategic in achieving sustainability goals for the organisation.

In terms of the future, I see the concept of finite resources impacting the way we procure products. Concepts like cradle to cradle and circular economy are driving innovation through material use. Procurement will have to be more innovative than ever as the world shifts to more sustainable materials.

They must be on the lookout for sourcing decisions that make use of alternative resources, reduce waste and reclaim any unused materials. This also goes for materials that are toxic and do harm. Procurement must work to avoid these, and find materials that do not harm the environment.

Do you work in social or sustainable procurement? What are your Big Ideas in this area? Let us know and we could be discussing them on April 21st.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.