Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Santa's procurement hoverboard hell or heaven?

Forget Santa, this could be another bad news day for the procurement profession, given that Amazon have advised customers they should throwaway hoverboards they have purchased due to safety concerns.

Behind the need for refunds will be a calling to account for those who handled the sourcing of the hoverboards and how so many have failed to meet UK, and I assume EU, safety standards. I can visualise the customer helplines of many large retailers being inundated with calls from customers looking for assurances that their hoverboards meet safety standards. Similar calls have probably already been made by CEO's and Marketing Directors!

In those situations Procurement is vulnerable if not culpable. This is an opportunity and a risk for Procurement.
  1. If Procurement were involved but the hoverboards their organisation have on the market are safe, then they need to 'strike while the iron is hot', and get the CEO seizing the opportunity to market the company as a responsible retailer while others have been seen to fail; 
  2. If Procurement were not involved in the sourcing then the case is made for future involvement and the application of procurement risk management tools, including process improvements;
  3. Sadly, if Procurement were involved and the hoverboards now need to be recalled - I hope they believe in Santa too! 

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