Part 1 - the barriers
Fear of change.
Change can be messy. It can be costly. If you work under management auspices that are intolerant and do not have the knowledge or skill set to view failures as necessary and constructive, change can also threaten your job - unfortunately still too common.
Changing service providers for international shipping needs involves particularly odious terms! Service providers have been working arduously for years to create links, connections and depth of coverage that purposely increase the difficulty factor for anyone who wants to make a change, regardless of the level of sophistication of your internal systems!! If you buy into dependency, it appears to be cost saving on the front end - perhaps not, however, in the long run. As a truly base example, I worked with a service provider who purposely deleted communications between ocean pricing and sales, so that the sales reps - while would table discussions when anomalies had negative impact on their customers - had no idea that the margins were fattening up due toda huge swing In she market (kind of like today!). Because of the disconnect, one valued customer wisely did an unplanned, random check of rates in the market, and discovered that we were making more than $1400 per container... In anyone's book, that could be considered robbery. The customer switched providers never to return.
Safeguards to prevent such abuses mean more work, yes, but who can afford to neglect such items? Same applies to any system or implied "comfort zone" that service providers try to sell in order to break even or even lose money in the front end, but become very profitable in the longer run...
There are costs associated with checking these functional values.
Fear of retribution or confrontation.
Because we still contend with most folks who just stepped into management much like stepping into animal remains in someone else's yard, many "responsible" parties are afraid of incurring the rage of management. Even though clueless about the process or what may be involved to invoke or engender success in any enterprise, it is tragic that not only the process, but also the competent performers are subordinated by dimwits under the flag of - "just show me the results"!!!
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to explain UP the supply chain (logistics humor), you are often confident that sound reasoning may most often be met by an inability to grasp your ideas, that turns immediately into a fear generate reprisal!! Happens all the time.
There are costs associated with these functional values.
Fear of learning.
Not in a pejorative way, but in a very real, measurable, KPI sort of way, so that if you fail, you could face anything from demerits to career hiatus! Let's not forget the public embarrassment if you have a truly Neanderthal situation...
Learning requires study, research and robust, honest discussions with colleagues who have vested interests! Learning may also require trying something new, and it requires the consistently constant pursuit coined as "continuous improvement" - that takes time...
There are costs associated with these functional values. The processes and time they take can be messy. It is certainly much easier, and politically correct, to forget about it and take the path of least
resistance. Happens way too often.
There are always companies out there fortunate enough to have competent leadership, and they regularly break barriers and set standards - only to set new ones once they are seen as barriers!!
These profitable, job producing, industry leading groups do not tolerate the fears above well, and can see that perfection is a disruptive process at best.
Visit here next month and you will see some ideas specific to the selection process that may warrant some further review!
R Fain
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