A common question is: “Is it OK to be a supplier to the company I work for?”

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It can be ethical to be a supplier of your own organization if:

a. Someone else makes the purchase decision

b. The decision is made objectively, giving no favorable treatment to your organization

c. You do not access or try to access confidential information about other suppliers that aren’t available to all competitors

That said, it probably isn’t the best idea to be a supplier to your own organization or your organization’s competitors. Totally ethical practices are those where there is no real or perceived conflict of interest. While you may avoid a real conflict of interest, it is likely that others will perceive that something unethical is happening. And that is an unhealthy situation for an organization, its employees, and its management.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
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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