The five rights mean nothing without competent application


JimMakuwa.jpgSupply chain management is an exercise in managing risk. Supply risks can be found throughout the chain. But how much of that risk rests in the skills of professionals that manage a supply chain? Jim Makuwa argues that skilled professionals are the differentiator in great supply chains, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Supply chain management prescribes that there are five fundamental rights under which transactions in this field, procurement in particular, are executed.

In layman’s terms, the Five Rights are:

The right Quality
in the right Quantity
at the right Price
at the right Place
at the right Time

It is also a criterion against which a procurement function is measured; an acid test of whether it makes meaningful contributions to an organisation.

The true meaning of these rights differs from industry to industry. However, perhaps owed to general prescription, a blanked meaning has crept over the Five Rights throughout all spheres of industry, one that would call the Five Rights a mere basic means to an end.

This is a view that impairs the value that can be derived from an efficient supply chain. The ‘right’ individual makes the Five Rights come to fruition and makes a difference between the success and failure of a supply chain.

The right individual, therefore, is the differentiator that makes the most important value proposition to any organisation’s supply chain; that removes elements of risk from our supply chain.

Who is this individual then, a super hero maybe?

The adage goes that failing to plan is planning to fail. Applied to skilled staff, it means that organisations that fail to identify the right individuals are bound to obtain mediocre, moderate or unimpressive results. Conversely, organisations that identify the right combination of skills in an individual stand a better chance of making it in the real world.

Where organisations strive to be on the leading edge of commerce, the right differentiator is a blessing. A differentiator is someone who is competent – the sum of their knowledge, skill and attributes effectively and efficiently meets the needs of an organisation.

Competence is the ability to do a task effectively. It has also been defined as an area or areas of personal capability that enable employees to successfully perform their jobs by achieving outcomes or successfully performing tasks.

Therefore, it is imperative that organisations strive to obtain the right incumbents for employment, or adopt strategies such as job training and coaching to skill their existing workforce.

Furthermore, individuals should try to reciprocate the gesture by ensuring that they adopt a workable personal development plan that would make them become better and make a difference in the success of their organisations.

Depending on the scope, complexity, value and risky nature of the job a mismatch maybe risky, but will depend on the risk appetite of the organisation. For instance because BEE rating most organisation may accept individuals with a defined criteria so as to boost their Employment Equity ratings, this could be fine depending on the risk that a company is willing to take.

How much risk are you willing to take and or doing nothing about it if you are employing a mismatch?


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