Supply Chain Conversations & Miscellany

RCSA’s CEO, Charles Cameron, has been posing a number of questions about supply chains for me, lately. In this series of Supply Chain Conversations, we explore the involvement of recruitment and workforce services firms in supply chain operations and learn how they can begin to facilitate the implementation of industry-based supply chain governance initiatives.

labor-is-not-a-_21082502_c80b832137a9a8f847853667bc16e91f0203038dConversation #1 (21 April 2017) is about the involvement of genuine labour-hire firms. To speak about “labour supply chains” is to reflect a view that labour (and often the workers who perform it) are commodities; and that they move through supply chains in much the same way as horticultural produce, or raw materials for manufacturing. But when genuine labour-hire firms operate within a supply chain, they’re more likely to be providing services to support supply chain operations – specifically, arranging for an auxiliary workforce – for example, to support harvest, logistics, software development, or maintenance operations.

conversation-2_21927113_99ae1a022c7ef56adac024876cbc0ebd8835ea2eConversation #2 (24 April 2017) highlights a distinction between supply chains and service (or value) networks and extends to consider how that difference influences the design of industry based supply chain governance initiatives.  From a design perspective, RCSA can draw a lot from the service network concept, because it allows the recruitment and workforce services sector more precisely to identify the relationships, which they establish to enable business (including supply chain) operations. And once identified, it provides tools that can help them to exercise good stewardship over those relationships.Ultimately, it’s simply a matter of recognising that sustainable supply chain governance starts with good stewardship of the service networks in which we participate.

conversation-3-_22119259_5e71cc57f3ba272e61ac1c66d01c5d2482cb9abcConversation #3 (2 May 2017) RCSA is developing a certification program to make it easier to make clean and ethical workforce services buying decisions. Our third conversation reveals how certification of workforce services providers, who are exercising good stewardship over their service networks, can contribute to better supply chain labour governance and trigger a collaborative “race to the top” that harnesses the power to convert a supply chain, one link at a time.

conversation-4_22179804_0b44ebf0d3d3b1c7cb14296dead5baab3d76632cConversation #4 (4 May 2017) In this, the fourth installment in our current series of Supply Chain Conversations, during which RCSA’s CEO, Charles Cameron, has been posing a number of questions about the involvement of workforce services firms in supply chains, we examine the coverage of RCSA’s Certification Program, looking at some non-traditional labour supply arrangements and asking, “Who’s in; who’s out”.



Businessman & NewspaperSupply Chain Miscellany #1 (7 May 2017)  The FWO’s Guides to Contracting Labour and Supply Chains: First Views.

Some preliminary views on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s new guides to labor contracting. Firstly, they are a very timely resource in view of the FWO’s stated intention to extend accessorial liability to accountants & other trusted advisors.

Next, I really like the focus on inquiry, transparency, and the use of contractual controls, which the FWO prudently suggests users should have checked by their lawyers! At the same time, I wonder if there’s a useful conversation to be had with the FWO about the architecture of these so-called “labor supply chains”; and whether there might be value in viewing them, not so much as a hierarchy of supply, as a system of co-ordinated roles… more



THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES From the illustration in colour by Edmund Dulac

Supply Chain Miscellany #2 (9 May 2017)  Labor-Hire Sub-contracting in Australia: The Train that Wasn’t There? 

Lately, I’ve being hearing a lot about so-called “labor-hire contracting chains”. But I really wonder whether they might be “the train that isn’t really there” – at least as regards the purported on-hire “supply” of employees via labor-hire chains.  Here’s why, in twelve points of contention with some suggestions about what can be done to avoid “embarrassing exposures”… more