Fear – The first emotion many of us feel in times such as these is
fear – fear of losing our jobs, our 401(k) funds, our credibility. While it
would be naďve not to be concerned, fear can be a very destructive emotion.
We don’t work well when we’re afraid. In the final analysis, most of us will
survive this turmoil, and we must try to push the fear aside and channel our
energies toward problem solving.
Panic – Panic usually follows on the heels of fear, and now is not
the time to make drastic and sudden changes in carriers and other types of
service providers, or in distribution networks. Planning should be
substituted for panic. Move deliberately and cautiously. These are volatile
times. What is true today may not be so tomorrow.
Short-term Thinking – There will be a temptation to make decisions
based on quick fixes and immediate savings. This can be particularly true
with technology. We have spent years developing information systems in the
supply chain industry, some of which are not inexpensive. There may be a
temptation to say, "Forget information is power; show me the money." But
this course of action will not serve you well over the long term.
Greed – Now is not the time to take advantage of carriers and other
service providers that are burdened with excess capacity. It is in our best
interests for our logistics providers to stay healthy and remain available
to provide the resources and choices that we will need to do our jobs
Hostility – When we get stressed, we sometimes treat our supply chain
partners poorly. Negotiations can quickly turn adversarial or hostile. Even
though we may not agree on courses of action, we will be more successful
over the long run if we treat our partners with sensitivity and courtesy.
Dishonesty – Hopefully, this requires no explanation. But be aware
that adversity can bring out the worst in people. Don’t be tempted to relax
your standards of moral and ethical behavior.
Complacency – Finally, the worst option you can choose is to do
nothing. While we shouldn’t panic, neither should we sit idly by and expect
everything to work out in the end. Whether in good times or times of crisis,
the supply chain managers who succeed will be those who are proactive,
thoughtful, and unafraid to make bold, but well-planned, moves.