Well, it’s been a while now since panic first set in with our current economic crisis. Although the panic has somewhat subsided in favour of some more rational thought, we are far from the end of this slowdown, although we do seem to have bottomed out.

Although these downturns are indeed somewhat nerve-wracking, it certainly does impact the supply chain management field in a bit of a different way… usually we are in a profession where we have to fight to obtain our rightful place at the boardroom table, but not these days.

Quite often in times of economic trouble, we are suddenly “a hot commodity”, the people who may be able to play a large role in “righting the ship”.

It’s not that I am enjoying these challenges, especially with my investments in the market, but it is times like these where our role on cost reduction, strategic sourcing, and our impact on the bottom line becomes much more apparent.

There is no question that not only does our role contribute on a day to day basis for business, but in times like these, it is definately a buyer’s market. As a result, it becomes easier to lead a successful negotiation and add to our company’s bottom line.

It is important to remember that we have to be careful not to take advantage of our suppliers. If we operate in a truly strategic nature, we have carefully selected our supply chain to work as “partners” with us for the long-term, and have realized the value they add with their individual brand of expertise. We also need to remember that they, and their organizations, are also facing challenges, and we need to be cautious that we do not add to their load.

After all, they won’t add much value for us if they are in Chapter 11.

Food for thought