Supply Chain Management is the management of upstream and downstream relationships, with customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders in order to increase value and reduce cost for all members of the supply chain. (Martin Christopher – Emeritus Professor of Marketing & Logistics at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, 2005).
Professor Christopher eloquently describes the critical role of relationships (stakeholders) in supply chain management, however even at the practical level of logistics his statement still applies, not just in the normal flow of supply chain operations but also in the perennial projects of logistics projects.
The experienced Professional Logistician has long realised that Logistics is a series of constant projects, such as:
- Upgrade systems, facilities, equipment,
- Support short term marketing campaigns surges or changes, and
- Implement or change logistic chains.
No matter what the logistics project, one thing remains constant it involves people. People who may be direct staff, staff of other departments, suppliers, customers etc, each has a stake in the projects outcome or effect.
Stakeholders support can either make or break a project.
Logistics Stakeholder Management
Project Stakeholder Management is the process in which an organisation involves people who may be affected by a project, the decisions driven by the project, or those who can influence the implementation of the project.
Stakeholders, be they internal or external, may; support or oppose the project, be influential in the organization or within the community, hold relevant official positions or be affected in the long term.
Prior to recognizing the importance of stakeholder management, project consultation activities were driven by rules and regulatory requirements, which meant that typically the only stakeholder engagement carried out, if any, was a single set of public meetings or in a worse case scenario, something as basic as an advertorial or press release.
This former lack of consultation with stakeholders meant that there was little opportunity for relationship building and therefore, a distinct lack of open and honest communication between stakeholders and the project. It represented not only a major risk to the project’s success, but also risked long term damage to the company’s reputation.
Today it is expected that companies running projects should design their engagement strategies and stakeholder relationships in line with the needs of their respective projects, the business and its stakeholders.
“Good stakeholder relations are a prerequisite for good risk management and could help to ensure the success of your project”
Effective Stakeholder management ensures that stakeholder’s expectations are managed, and that their needs and wants of stakeholders are considered.
Components of Stakeholder Management
So what are what are the components of effective stakeholder management?:
- Stakeholder Identification and Analysis
- Information Disclosure
- Stakeholder Consultation
- Negotiation and Partnerships
- Grievance Management
- Stakeholder Involvement in Project Monitoring
- Reporting to Stakeholders
- Management Functions
Most importantly successful stakeholder management can mean success in your project; this is because companies who take a proactive approach to stakeholder management tend to make better and different types of decisions.
So as successful stakeholder management can mean the successful project; good project management means that you don’t wait until there is a problem – A good project manager gets in early and is proactive, because, simply relationships with stakeholders take time to develop.
Want to know more about stakeholder management? Latus can help, we offer Stakeholder Management Training and solutions.