America’s manufacturing is under pressure beyond jobs lost.
- Global competition will double
- High tech and over supply of production capacity
All require a new approach
- “A MARKET CENTERED approach”
*CSR Corporate Social Responsibility
A new era has arrived.
As a result of the inclusion of the voluntary remigration initiative in the export under our Supercharged Exports initiative, we are often asked, if the remigration initiative is a CSR program.
The short answer is no, it makes good business sense. To understand this, consider the following with regards to CSR programs.
- CSR can no longer be a side car issue
- CSR needs to be part of marketing and the overall management of business.
CSR has played an important role in assisting and resolving many challenges companies have been faced with over the years. Specifically to address social concerns and environmental impact factors in the public domain. At the same time it has also contributed to the bottom line through general management, staff and client engagement, for example cost savings. Often good CSR programs have created a general positive awareness with staff and customers alike on important business, social and environmental aspects.
So is there a problem?
The short answer is YES.
CSR became part of the business environment in many instances through public pressure. The challenge ultimately is that it should be an integral part of every business person’s thinking process. From the cash register, shelve-packer through to the managing director. It should be an integral part in and of customer product evaluation moving away from the current campaign based approach.
Under The Fireflies Innovations’ Supercharged Export initiative, CSR is brought into the very foundation of every business. That of strategic planning within a market growth context.
We believe CSR should not be an add-on or sidecar issue. It should be an integral part of the business as a whole starting from suppliers, through to staff and customers.
A Second Chance is not a CSR program. it is an integral part of the Supercharged Exports initiative.
What then is the difference?
- A traditional CSR approach is to look for a process to resolve a social issue or aspect of general concern.
- An integrated initiative stems from the very foundation of the market taking into account the social political factors. (Not just the service or products and market factors such as segmentation.)
- The benefits are substantial; in short it makes the initiative market sustainable from the beginning.
Think for yourself?
How many times has it happened to you where, you learn something in hindsight? Or suppliers tell you something only once you have a problem. Information that they should have brought to your attention upfront. You know from this type of experience that, the approach makes a huge difference; people know when it is sidecar. Not only do you feel that the supplier took advantage of you or that they have not seen to their end.
The same applies to CSR. If CSR concepts such as social concerns, environmental and business practices are part of the thinking process across a business, the total management philosophy in the company and day to day management immediately changes.
Within The Firefly Innovations’ initiatives we use a very simple concept, “How does what we do; impact overall on the quality of life; of the people we come in contact with or deal with”.
The old basic approach of camping; when you leave the campsite, see that it is in the same or better condition as when you arrived.
So to conclude CSR is not poison but we need to reassess our approach.
Each business should develop for themselves a framework of CSR factors. And include those from planning through to the actual management and day to day activities of the company.
The same specifically applies to export. For example are we just dumping products or are we building long-term quality relations.
As global competition increases, companies that understand the above will be able to unlock long-term markets and customers.
The inclusion of A Second Chance as an integral part of the export initiative, in the case of the U.S./Mexico happens to provide major development options with regards to undocumented migrants. But at the same time it delivers major benefits with regards to market development. But the underlying principles stems, not from designing CSR programs, but from a strong integrated export/market development approach that incorporates CSR concepts from the beginning.
The benefits that results from this for exporters are far-reaching and includes factors such as cost reduction, unlocking of capital, market access and competitive advantages through to strong social responsible brand building.