Want to be an ethical supply chain influencer? It’s all about the ‘collab’

Business collaboration

No one would refer to me as a “spring chicken” at this point in my decades-long career, but I am no stranger to social media.

I credit my children for convincing me to use the “Gram” (Instagram) and to watch the occasional TikTok video. You can’t scroll through a feed on any social media platform without coming across an influencer of some kind talking about their latest “collab” (collaboration) with a famous brand.

Take, for example, the professional European football player with more than half a billion followers who has collaborations with multiple clothing, shoe, watch, and nutrition companies. He uses his considerable influence to promote his partners’ products to his hundreds of millions of followers. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship: The influencer gets the additional exposure and caché of partnering with an international brand, and the companies get more exposure and access to new potential customers for their goods or services. A true “win-win.”

You might be thinking: What does this have to do with ensuring an ethical supply chain? I suggest both supply chain and ethics and compliance professionals could take a page out of the social media influencer playbook and look to collaborate with suppliers more to create their own win-win scenarios.

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