Ethics is a major element of procurement, and it is such a vital element that it is even considered of more importance than technology or even consumer behavior change. This alone can tell you the crucial role that ethics plays in the business environment. What does being ethical mean? In this situation, it means working according to the standards or rules that are set for the industry in the form of codes of conduct or good practice.
Procurement and Ethics
Procurement is an area that is involved in negotiation with customers, supplier selection, evaluation, contract sign-off, and even awarding business to selected suppliers. When individuals interact with suppliers, procurement regulations require them to treat suppliers with fairness and in an unbiased fashion. Professionals in procurement should also conduct ethical business practices as failing to abide by ethics leads to illegal practice, in which case favoritism, bribery, illegal sourcing, and more can occur. Any unethical practices shall render the business reputation as tarnished and damage future public relations and the general business practice.
More Reasons Why Ethics Is an Important Procurement Principle
Procurement is a sector of business that happens to represent the company itself, and this sector is responsible for raking in an organization’s profits when it awards business to suppliers. Unethical behavior negatively impacts the brand image of the company. Professionals working in procurement are under immense pressure from both external and internal forces to engage in unethical practices, which happens because they have access to an organization’s pools of finances. Ethical practice establishes a good long term relationship that is stable and reliable with suppliers. An ethical individual in the business community receives a lot of respect, and one a professional gains a reputation in their industry, it is hard to change it. Adopting ethical practices means you have a career-long god reputation.
Unethical Behavior To Avoid
It may not feel unethical, but accepting any form of favor or gift from a supplier is indeed unethical. This means not accepting free holidays, lunches, items, or anything similar. Should you accept anything from a supplier, it could come back to bite you when the buyer has to make a decision to select a supplier. Also when close family or friends have some kind of direct financial interest in a supplier’s organization, this represents a conflict of interest and breach of the practice of ethics. Confidential information should not be shared, and if it is shared, it is to be shared only with the necessary people. Integrity and fair and unbiased treatment also go hand-in-hand when it comes to working ethically. This means that when you are working, you have to be very careful not to cross any boundaries and treat any suppliers differently from others which can be difficult if you are working with close friends or family as mentioned. Maintaining a professional attitude in the workplace at all times can help prevent slip-ups like this from occurring.
How To Ensure That Ethics Are Upheld
Work for a company that follows a strict ethics policy. Every organization should actually have a written ethics policymaking the rules of ethical practice clear. Ethics training is yet another way that businesses ensure that their employees understand how important ethics is in the workplace, and going for ethics training can help you acquire all the most important information you will need to work ethically and gain a good reputation in your industry. Audits are performed in the workplace to ensure ethics as well, ad so making yourself available for auditing is good practice.
A Closing Word
Every type of organization requires a sold code of ethical practice for the smooth running of their business ad for the procurement process to be carried out well. Employees require regular training on ethics and on how to behave ethically. Employees will often face situations where they are placed under pressure to behave in an unethical manner and they need to have the knowledge and skills to know how to react under these circumstances. There are big advantages in working ethically, like enjoying better efficiency in the workplace ad greater value from procurement activities. The company benefits by having a better image ad you enjoy better loyalty from the end-customers as well as public appreciation. There are countless reasons why you shouldn’t behave unethically, but most of all, the best comes from the many rewards that come from ethical workplace practice, and in the procurement sector this is gold.