Our emotions influence every aspect of life. However, both in our personal and professional lives, keeping our emotions and feelings in check can be a great challenge.
When we talk about the workplace, controlling your emotions becomes fundamental in order to pursue a successful career and in some sectors it must be even greater. This is the case, for example, in the purchasing department, where negotiation processes are common, which demands a lot from professionals.
In this article, we will bring useful information to use emotions in a positive way, which helps you to have better results in negotiations in general. Check it out!
Feelings at the Negotiating Table
Until recently, emotion was considered an obstacle to reaching constructive agreements. But this concept is changing, and now it is suggested that controlling emotion in negotiation can bring positive results.
In the book Building Agreement: Using Emotions as You Negotiate, Daniel Shapiro and Roger Fisher develop the idea that it is possible for the negotiator to stimulate positive emotions and overcome negative ones by showing appreciation and valuing the other party’s membership, autonomy, status and position.
For the authors, the advantage of aknowledging and knowing how to deal with these emotional dimensions is that they can be explored with the aim of understanding each party’s expectations, helping to create a more positive bargaining environment.
As we can see, negotiating depends a lot on the influence of emotions. This is because the successful negotiator needs to have good persuasive and oratory resources, but he also needs to have the perception and control of his feelings.
Studying principles of negotiation, researchers Norbert Schwarz of the University of Michigan and Gerald Clore of the University of Virginia used the phone to ask questions about life satisfaction. Fun Fact: Half of the participants answered the question on a sunny day and the other on a rainy day.
Participants who were contacted on a rainy day showed less satisfaction with life than participants who received calls on a sunny day. But when the scholars began the conversation asking, “How is the weather there?” Participants in a rainy condition responded as positively as those who were experiencing a sunny day.
Why did this happen? Simple: by recognizing the bad weather, the respondents turned off the impact of the rain when assessing their satisfaction with life.
The study therefore demonstrated that negative emotional triggers had to be turned off before negotiations could take place.
Controlling emotions in negotiation
In general, everyone is able to control the way they express their emotions, but there is one strategy that helps to take advantage of this control: control your feelings! In this way, it will be possible to disguise or emphasize an emotion, according to need and moment.
In this aspect, it is essential to prepare in advance for the negotiation. For example, if there is a setback on the way to the meeting, or if you walk into the room and encounter someone you had a confrontational relationship with, these situations must be worked through before you begin to negotiate – that is, in practice, to deactivate the negative emotional triggers!
How to do this? Ask permission to go to the bathroom and take the opportunity to work on your breathing (take a deep, paused breath a few times), do a quick relaxation or meditation, call someone who has the ability to calm you down and give you confidence, etc.
Now, if you notice that the other side has negative emotions related to the negotiation, try to create a bridge with the source of those feelings. It is possible to identify this non-positive reaction through the individual’s speech, but also through body expression, as illustrated by FGV teachers Yann Duzert and Ana Tereza Spínola, in the area of Business Management: contracted lips and eyebrows lowered and joined (means anger), touching the nails or the eyebrow as a sign of impatience.
Questions such as “hard day?” or “how was your journey here?”, aside from creating empathy, can be the starting point to minimize the influence of negative emotions during discussions.
Harvard Business School assistant professor Alison Wood Brooks explains some of the feelings that can appear at a negotiation table: “The most common emotion to appear before the process begins or during the early stages is anxiety. We are more likely to show irritation or excitement in the heat of discussions. And disappointment, sadness or grief often appear especially in the final stages of negotiation”.
All these feelings can be controlled and taken to a more advantageous side during the negotiation process, as explained by Alison, who teaches negotiation in MBA and executive education courses and is a member of the behavioral insights group.
According to her, a useful strategy to reduce anxiety is to invite an outside expert to articulate the negotiation, as these people have less personal interest in the job and can demonstrate more controlled skills.
Anger can arise from the general tendency to view negotiations in competitive, and not collaborative terms. But this feeling, according to the teacher, is not all bad. Demonstrating anger in a controlled way can make people appear stronger and more powerful, which increases their self-confidence.
But if the tension is exaggerated, pressing the pause button is a good strategy. After calming the spirits, the meeting can be resumed in a more productive way.
However, there is a line that divides irritation from disappointment. And that second emotion can already be more damaging when demonstrated at the negotiating table. One of the factors that can cause disappointment is the very fast speed of the process, which brings the feeling that more could have been done. The most obvious way to reduce the likelihood of disappointment is to act calmly and thoughtfully and, if there are any doubts, ask pertinent questions to make sure you have explored all possible alternatives.
As for joy and excitement, Alison says that in certain situations showing these feelings can generate disappointment in the other party. The best negotiators make great deals for you, but make your opponents believe that they too have made a fabulous deal.
And so we come to the last two tips about emotions in negotiations:
- Have respect for others, not letting your excitement make your interlocutors feel like losers;
- Be skeptical and don’t let your excitement turn into overconfidence, damaging future negotiations.
Emotions are inherent to conflict and play a positive role in decision-making, creativity and relationship building, such as those involving negotiation.
Want more information on advanced negotiation techniques? Check out another article we have produced on the subject: Advanced Negotiation: Prepare yourself for great results
With globalization – even as it is slowing down – and the digital transformation, the supply chain is becoming increasingly complex, increasing the pressures for a more modern and efficient process.
Therefore, it is essential to have an intelligent supply chain that exploits the digital and technological resources available today. Understand this scenario better with the following article.
Supply chain challenges in digital transformation
The spread of Industry 4.0 technologies has revolutionized supply chains that are already using the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, artificial intelligence and real-time analysis to optimize, accelerate and predict their operations.
In this scenario, many companies are already rethinking their logistics, taking advantage of digital technologies – and new rules, such as Incoterms 2020 – to keep pace with change and improve their operational capabilities.
Moving from a traditional supply chain to implementing a digital, intelligent format requires a major transformation.
To prepare for this moment, get to know the technological elements that are at your disposal.
Elements of a smart supply chain
Much has been said about using Bots, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to make the supply chain more efficient – about this subject, we wrote an article that shows 4 technologies that are revolutionizing global trade.
All of them are very important indeed. But there are other resources available, like the ones we highlight below.
1. RFID – Radio Frequency Identification
The RFID system consists of an antenna, a transceiver (which reads the signal and transfers the information to a reader device) and an RF (radio frequency) tag, which contains the information to be transmitted – these tags may be present on products, parts, equipment, etc.
It works like this: the antenna emits a signal from the integrated circuit and transmits the information to the reader. It in turn converts the RFID radio waves into digital information, which can be read by a computer, storing this data.
Thus, it ensures professionals can control everything that enters and leaves the factory, which in turn guarantees the updated control of the stock – in real time – and makes tracking the materials a lot easier.
2. Smart sensors
As they are an excellent support for an intelligent supply chain, the sensors make it possible to monitor machines in real time, sending alerts to a control center if any part is defective and needs to be replaced – or even when the production period for any part is coming to an end.
This way, it allows the realization of predictive maintenance, indicating the right time for the acquisition of parts and products. In addition to cost reduction, it increases production efficiency, since it reduces the risks of having to stop the machines for maintenance.
It may sound complex, but tests are already being done using drones for delivery. Besides delivering orders to the buyer’s house, another possibility is the distribution from a truck which, upon arrival at a certain point of its route, releases several drones to deliver orders to places close to the stop.
Using a drone equipped with a camera to scan the items from a stock is also a possible way to improve controls and processes.
Repetitive tasks such as moving products from one area to another from a warehouse can be done with the help of robots, increasing efficiency and freeing up employees for more strategic work.
Amazon Robotics invested in this feature, reducing errors and costs (before, it was common for products and materials to be stored in the wrong place, leading to unnecessary purchase of items already in stock) in addition to improving efficiency – learn about the Kiva system that allowed the use of robotics in the company’s warehouses.
5. Process Integration
An intelligent supply chain needs to integrate steps and teams, creating a real-time communication that can be used by everyone in the production process.
This integration will promote improved communication, anticipation of problems, greater agility in detecting and solving failures. It also favors access to essential data to define strategies and control demands more effectively.
The market offers several options that need to be evaluated according to the needs and particularities of each organization. With Business Intelligence, information from systems in all areas and technologies – such as the Internet of Things – goes to the same dashboard, generating graphs and tables and allowing linked teams to follow the entire process together in real time – in the case of the supply chain, maintenance, purchasing and logistics would share the information in the same dashboard.
Implementing a smart supply chain in your company
The acquisition of new technologies requires good planning, avoiding risks such as acquiring items that do not offer a positive cost-benefit ratio or that are not really necessary for the reality of the business.
And although your journey towards a digital supply chain may require the best and most advanced technologies, remember that much of the success of this operation is connected to people. Companies need to take their employees with them at each stage, preparing their workforce for this new supply chain, through training, for example.
With these precautions, it’ll be possible to see many benefits in the supply chain, some of them being:
- Greater efficiency: better use of productive process time, minimized errors.
- Transparency: an intelligent supply chain allows information to be shared with all stakeholders in real time;
- Properly distributed resources: adequate quantity of parts, avoiding inactive stock or material shortages.
An intelligent supply chain can, for example, integrate data from sensors connected in warehouses and warehouses with information that shows the use of parts, allowing a purchase planning that leads to cost reduction and higher quality throughout the purchasing process.
The term Slowbalisation, created to describe the slowdown in international trade, is on the rise.
Since the early 1990s, when globalization began, it has driven economic growth. Today, however, global trade is slowing down and occurring in more regional terms.
What is the impact of this shrinkage on business and the supply chain? In this post, we will reflect on this topic. Check it out!
Why Slowbalisation is happening
In the 1990s, globalization gave rise to the idea of a flat world, where borders mattered little when it came to the flow of ideas, goods, services and capital.
Development in the technology, communication and transportation sectors reinforced this concept, suggesting a world increasingly connected.
But in recent years this movement has begun to slow down, giving rise to Slowbalisation. Why is that?
A conjunction of factors has led to this condition, among them, geopolitical changes. The advance of nationalist and protectionist governments, especially in the United States, has put globalization in the spotlight.
But that is not the only reason. The technological advance that has occurred in every corner of the planet has leveled products and services, making it easier for the final consumer to find what he or she needs in a place close to where they are located. This is because the same consumer, more aware and demanding, started to create a demand for customized products and faster deliveries.
Another determining factor for Slowbalisation is the high costs involved in purchasing raw materials. Especially fuel, which also interferes with the value of transporting goods.
Price fluctuations in the fuel market, in fact, constantly affect the logistics sector, generating inflation in the final price of products. They act as a kind of domino effect, where carriers increase their values in order to not suffer losses and purchasing companies pass on the same increase to the final price of products, in a compensation that affects the logistics chain.
And we must not forget that globalization has allowed emerging countries to become richer, being able to produce more and, of course, increase the consumption of their own goods – which leads us to conclude that it may have been a victim of their great success.
Slowbalisation X Supply Chain
During the 1990s and early 21st century, many companies defined their supply chains in the use of cheap labor, even if it was on the other side of the planet.
With the shift to just-in-time logistics, however, this type of decision changed, creating yet another reason for Slowbalisation.
The adoption of a model where stock is acquired as needed, operating at continuously low levels, helps to reduce costs and increase efficiency. However, it requires a very careful programming for the demand of products, avoiding shortage of materials – in our blog you find an article that shows what is the most beneficial for company finances in industry 4.0: buying products or services (CAPEX or OPEX)? It’s worth reading to find out!
Instead of large quantities of materials – purchased at lower prices in countries with lower labor costs – we now see came into play:
- local workforce, with greater qualification and knowledge of the production stages;
- technological solutions capable of planning and monitoring each stage of the production process, avoiding waste and interruptions due to lack of parts.
Indeed, regionalization relies on technological advances. The Industry 4.0 supply chain has become much smarter, incorporating data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
These capabilities generate increased visibility and control of the supply chain, allowing rapid identification of any failure that may affect it, making your operations more efficient and optimized.
And, for the future, it is quite reasonable to assume that new technologies will emerge to develop the supply chain according to the needs of different markets and decrease the dependency on products that today can only be found in more distant places. This is the case of the 3D printer, for example, among other innovative technologies we have already talked about in our blog – learn more about 4 technologies that will change global trade forever!
Reliable Supply Chain: essential in Slowbalisation
One of the main precautions to be taken with the supply chain in post-globalisation is to guarantee the availability of the materials needed for production.
This is already possible with the existing sophisticated technologies, which analyze the chain in real time, ensuring efficiency, agility and cost reduction – in this sense, know a proposal that unites reliability and speed at the time of purchasing your company.
But in the Slowbalisation era it is also essential to have an extended supply chain network. And the best way to guarantee this network is to count on the partnership of a company that can supply any item with the best price and term conditions.
Soluparts specializes in the acquisition of all types of industrial materials for maintenance, repairs and operations, facilitating the entire purchasing process.
Count on experienced professionals to make your supply chain much more efficient – even in times of Slowbalisation. Get a quote and surprise yourself with our service.
Supplier mapping is a key task for medium and large companies – and it’s also one of the biggest challenges in the supply chain. When choosing a supplier, a company must take a lot of things into consideration, such as price, deadlines, size of each demand and the commitment of the supplier to the company’s needs.
The entire production depends directly on the choices made in the assembly of the supply chain, which means that the productivity of the company is linked intrinsically to the quality level of the suppliers. Choosing a wrong supplier can, basically, ruin everything.
With that said, it’s not unusual to question how things are done in your company when it comes to mapping suppliers. If you’re not satisfied with the methods used, or if you feel like a change is much needed, this article is for you!
There are some fundamental points that can help prevent failures and problems, but only when there’s perfect alignment between the company and its suppliers. Needless to say, any small disagreement can compromise the whole process and result in unimaginable damage.
Check out below our 4 tips for mapping suppliers assertively and securely, and make sure to follow each one of them!
Know your demand very well
The first step in supplier mapping is to thoroughly understand every demand that arrives in the hands of the purchasing department.
Here, you want to determine quantities, delivery terms, deadlines that need to be met, and, in sum, all issues involved in the order. With that information in hand, you can align your demand with the service each supplier offers and then choose the one that best fits your needs and conditions.
In addition, by knowing the demands well you can identify possible barriers to product or service delivery – such as quantity, format or assembly errors – and plan yourself ahead to solve those issues.
Besides, if you have a very large demand, you can hire more than one supplier for the job, to avoid overwhelming one vendor with more work than it can handle, and ensure on-time delivery!
Finally, define which demands are priorities, and which you can deal with later, to better organize supplier analysis and deadlines.
Develop a supply schedule
It is essential to have all the purchasing movement very well organized: what is the status of each demand, which supplier is responsible for each one, what are the terms and conditions of delivery, etc.
To do this, develop a method to follow each step of the process, a supply schedule. In it, enter all the essential information to follow the progress of each demand.
You want to keep tabs on order dates, delivery forecasts, deadlines, the responsible suppliers, essential delivery conditions, any additional services that will be provided on delivery and other observations you deem necessary!
Make sure to adjust your schedule when necessary. Take changes and/or additions to the order into account, and any other situations that can delay delivery.
Be familiar with the values of each supplier
It is obvious that prices and deadlines are fundamental, but some other points must influence your choice of supplier just as much, or even more. When mapping suppliers, make sure to know every aspect of the company, not just what they choose to show you.
Have as much information as possible about the service that each supplier offers. Some can literally save your business! For example:
It is essential to hire suppliers whose values are consonant with the ones of your company. Here, you want to do extensive research considering: does the supplier have a high level of quality that is recognized in the market? Are they in labor proceedings or having contract problems? What are the company’s social policies? How do they deal with environmental issues?
All of these answers should be in accordance with your company’s policies, with the image you want to imprint on your customers. A supplier who disagrees with your values can cause conflicts not only with you while doing business, but also with your customers, who may question your company’s positions. Do not risk it!
Once you find a supplier that is a good addition to your mission, stay true to standard corporate processes and guidelines! Always be consistent, and your suppliers will tend to keep that behavior as well.
Automate the relationship
The most common way of organizing information is to use spreadsheets and tables, but it is common knowledge that any type of manual control is subject to failure. Above all, spreadsheets rely on employees to update them and each of the employee’s routine can lead them to forget to fill in properly, or worse: enter incorrect information.
To avoid this type of situation, it is advisable to make use of softwares specially developed for this phase of the supply chain. There are options that allow you to constantly monitor each supplier’s performance, calculate risks and possible delays, generate reports, compare conditions and much more!
By making the relationship with the suppliers easier, you enable better exchange of information between the parties, so that improvements can be put into practice without much complication.
Don’t try to find the “perfect supplier”
Now, here is the thing: there is no such thing as a perfect supplier, or a perfect contract, let alone a perfect business. But that only means you should always strive to find the best match for your needs.
Sometimes, the best option is the one that has the lowest price, or is the biggest and best known company. But sometimes the best supplier is the one that may not offer the better price, but has the best values and/or the best and easiest crew to deal with.
The secret here is to always try to find a balance between all of the qualities you look for in a supplier partnership and all of the “not so good things” you are willing to accept to close the deal!
Regardless, following the tips we listed in this article will definitely make the entire process of supplier mapping easier and much more assertive at your company.
Do you have different tips to offer in this subject? Leave it below in the comment box!
An efficient management of the supply chain is necessary for all companies that deal with product movement, whether purchasing or selling. Any business that produces or sells goods must be very aware of the entire process, from purchase to delivery, especially because internal organization can ensure higher levels of satisfaction with the buyers.
Basically, the supply chain is a group of methods that depend on one another, and require close cooperation between stages so that every action is controlled, managed, improved and executed successfully. Thus, a supply chain management model should include ways to provide better integration between the different stages in the supply chain, which means making sure that all of the logistical steps have the best performance.
Not only can accurate management promote satisfaction, but it can also be responsible for reducing the production cycle time, allowing the company to avoid waste of resources, improve the efficiency of the business and develop competitive advantage.
Want to improve the productivity in your company? We listed some key points one must be attentive to in order to best manage your supply chain! Check them out below:
Supply and demand
Specialists claim that it’s critical to maintain balance between supply and demand. The keyword here is forecast. The best method to anticipate demand is to look into the selling history, and take the future demand expectations from it. If you need to forecast the demand for December, go back a year, analyze the data, apply comparisons of growth or decrease, and there you’ll have the expectation for the month.
Keep supply on demand, especially if your company deals with perishable goods. That way, you don’t waste resources maintaining unnecessary inventory, that can become obsolete or be damaged, and save a lot of time when the goods are needed! Sometimes, that means keeping the lowest inventory levels possible, as the best policy to better control the storage costs, or implement a “just-in-time” process.
Selection and relationship with suppliers
Always partner with suppliers in which you see values that match those of your company. Don’t take into account only the fame or size of the supplier’s company – it’s more important to determine if they are able to help you develop and improve the quality and efficiency of your business. Sometimes, a smaller company can represent much more commitment and innovation than a big corporation.
Always strive to maintain a close relationship with your suppliers, being transparent about your company’s needs and expectations, so that the deliveries can match your standards. If something goes wrong, it’s easier to solve a problem with a partner who knows you and that you know well, than to deal with someone you don’t know what to expect from.
Sharing the processes with the suppliers is a good way to keep a good communication channel. Allow your suppliers to access your data bases and also keep tabs on the other stages of manufacturing and storage. By doing this, the supplier can work in sync with your company, improving the quality of the final delivery.
Manufacturing, storage and product delivery
The key to a good supply chain management is integration. It’s very important that sales projections are made accordingly to the strategic planning of the other steps, such as production, department budgets, investments and operation planning.
There are plenty of ways to ensure integration in the supply chain. One good method to keep all steps coordinated is to use the same software to manage the supply chain, so that everyone involved can receive up to date information. One of the biggest concerns about managing the supply chain is the lack of communication between the stages, but the technology available can make this process quite easier.
It’s also critical that the procedures involved in the production line are documented, so that management can control the entire situation. First, it helps to establish quality standards, and also makes it easier to find gaps along the way.
But more important than that, the more information you have, the easier it becomes to recognize weaknesses and flaws. Our advice here is to gather all the data one possibly can about the company’s (and the competition’s) operations, and analyze those numbers. By doing that, it’s possible to identify, solve and even predict possible problems and conflicts faster.
If one step fails, the entire supply chain process is impacted. Thus, it’s really important that performance indicators are followed, to monitor the activities of every part involved in the supply chain. It’s important to say that some companies find it best to outsource some steps, or all of them (from production to transportation). But even if that’s your situation, it’s essential to know how the entire process must go, to maintain the company’s quality standard!
To sum up this article, here’s a list to help you better manage the supply chain in your company. One should keep tabs on the following steps – how it should work, how it actually works and how the process can be improved:
1. Demand forecast and product offer
2. Location of suppliers
3. Manufacturing process
4. Product storage
Besides those 4 primary steps, here’s 3 checking points that can indicate the success or failure of the supply chain management:
1. Product delivery
2. Merchandise return
3. Customer feedbacks
As we’ve shown you, it’s fundamental to keep in mind that the supply chain management is a process, and as such, it cannot be treated separately. It’s true that a lot of companies have been investing in creating a supply chain management department for some time now, but remember: designating one person to worry only about the supply chain is supposed to make the process run more easily, instead of adding more complications and obstacles to the equation.
It’s all about the relationship between the company and its suppliers, so the manager must take into consideration that the entire experience has to be shared by everyone involved, balancing responsibilities and ensuring the highest quality levels possible!
Liked this post? Share it with your co-workers and leave a bit of your experience with managing the supply chain in the comments below!
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