There was complete mayhem when, in 2016, the VP of Global Sourcing wanted to shut down the China office and subcontract the sourcing responsibilities to one of our top suppliers! Discontentment among employees, rapidly spreading panic, chances of a major lawsuit and disruption in operations, faced the company. Devaluation of the company stock price and a negative reputation, seemed inevitable.
I spoke to the VP and flew to Shanghai overnight, as soon as I became aware of the situation. I had worked for several years in the China office, and shared a good rapport with members and suppliers there. I wanted to try and resolve the situation.
Open communication with the employees made me realize that all of them had a rich work-experience in Mohawk and were passionate to continue making their contributions. Through in-depth interviews with top suppliers, I learnt that they would discontinue their supplies if Mohawk subcontracted all sourcing responsibilities from one particular supplier, exposing their business and product innovation secrets. After analyzing different scenarios, I finally proposed a win-win solution to the USA Management. We would keep the Shanghai office with goals to increase the revenue, and assure the supplier of greater business opportunities, in the next three years, to cover their losses. The VP agreed.
We shifted from a 20-employee, small, global sourcing office to a better and bigger one, which accommodated nearly 100 employees and all business divisions together, for a lesser rent. Several employees were promoted, resulting in increased motivation.
We exceeded the annual revenue increase goals in the last 5 years.
As for me, I learnt the art of negotiation and crisis management. Not only did I acquire the ability to convince the higher management with proper rationale, but also turned around a catastrophic situation with empathy, logic, positivity and foresight!