This story is unusually gruesome for one that is covered here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. But I can’t help but see the procurement tie-in, no matter how indirect.

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Ryan Jenkins, a contestant on VH1’s reality show “Megan Wants a Millionairre,” had apparently killed his wife, removed her fingers and teeth to impede identification, ran from authorities across both the USA and Canada, and was eventually found in a motel room after his own suicide. Yeah. Not a story you’d expect to see here.

What gets me is the old point-the-finger-at-the-supplier drama that unfolded. The media obviously pounced on VH1 with a “how could you let someone like this on your show?” investigation.

VH1’s response? They blamed their supplier.

VH1 told the Washington Post “Ryan Jenkins was a contestant on ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire’ — an outside production, produced and owned by 51 Minds, that is licensed to VH1.” According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, VH1 claims that “all outside production companies are responsible for the screening/vetting process of contestants for reality TV shows.”

So VH1 essentially washes its hands of any association with a perpetrator of such a crime. Convenient, huh?

51 Minds then, to help absolve their customer while also pointing the finger at their supplier, issues a statement saying: “The company did have in place what it thought was a thorough vetting process that involved complete background checks by an outside company (emphasis added) for all contestants on its shows…Clearly, the process did not work properly in this case. 51 Minds is investigating what went wrong and taking steps to ensure that this sort of lapse never occurs again.”

But isn’t it a company’s job to make sure that it suppliers perform properly? Shouldn’t choosing and maintaining a relationship with a supplier have some type of responsibility attached to it?

Perhaps CEO’s have a hidden, strategic reason to support outsourcing. They might be thinking “If something goes wrong, we won’t have to take the blame.”

If so, that’s sad. There’s no excuse to not know what failures are bound to happen within your supply base.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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