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IKEA全球供應面的挑戰:印度地毯與童工問題(A)

1995年5月,瑪莉安.巴娜(Marianne Barner)正面臨一項困難的決策。她加入IKEA這家全球最大的傢俱零售商已屆滿兩年,且她擔任地毯業務區域經理亦已屆滿兩個月,此時,她思考著是否應該與一家主要的印度地毯供應商終止往來關係,雖然此舉可能會影響公司的貨源供應,並衝擊銷售業績,但是她也發覺支持這個決定的理由頗為明確。因為一家德國電視公司最近揭露一項調查報告,顯示該供應商僱用童工來生產地毯,並供貨給IKEA公司。讓巴娜感到挫折的是,這家形象良好的大型供應商,與IKEA其他供應商一樣,在最近與公司簽署的一項供應合約附加條款中,明訂禁止雇用童工,否則該合約將遭到取消。

然而,巴娜瞭解,比眼前更為棘手的問題是,IKEA應該對此問題採取何種長期策略。一方面,由於業界對於印度地毯業剝削童工的現象頗為關切,迫使她必須簽訂此條款來回應此訴求。而最近由製造業者、進口商、零售業者、及印度民間組織所成立的聯盟,提出一項「地毯標籤」的新措施,在那些經查證並無使用童工生產的地毯,貼上認證標籤以示區別。巴娜也已經與瑞典拯救兒童組織進行協調,該組織要求IKEA公司秉持「謀求兒童最大福祉」之原則來處理此問題,最後,公司中有些人認為他們應該考慮放棄這項產品,因為來自當地的地毯佔IKEA整體營收的比例微不足道,他們認為該項產品的獲利潛能,並不足以彌補他們因為此事件所投入的時間、成本、以及所承擔的商譽風險。

一家跨國企業的崛起與壯大

要了解IKEA的營運概況,就必須先研究年邁70的公司創辦人-英發.坎普拉(Ingvar Kamprad)的哲理與信念。儘管他在1986年卸下執行長一職已有十年之久,但他仍保有該公司名譽董事長之頭銜,積極參與公司運作,然而,比他現有職權更為重要的,是他長期以來在IKEA企業文化中所耕耘的價值與信仰。

坎普拉在年僅17歲時,自創一家郵購公司,名稱即為IKEA,該名稱是取自於他姓名的起首字母,與他們位於瑞典東南方森林區的家族農場Elmtaryd以及Agunnaryd兩地之起首字母字串聯而成。他放棄家族事業,開始銷售原子筆、打火機、及夾子等用品,他先向成本低廉的供應商進貨,然後在當地店家所訂閱的商業刊物中刊登廣告。當坎普拉在1948年將傢俱納入產品線以便與同業競爭時,新產品線立即創造了銷售佳績,這讓他決定放棄那些小型商品。

在1951年,為了減少產品的退貨率,他在鄰鎮阿姆浩特(Älmhult)成立一個展示店面,讓消費者在購買產品之前可以先行檢視貨品,這項創舉很快的產生招攬客戶的效果,消費者願意搭乘七小時的火車,遠從首都斯德哥爾摩前來參觀。因此,IKEA停止了郵購業務,坎普拉後來回憶說:「現在的IKEA經營理念在當時便奠定了基礎,當時所制定的一些原則,至今仍沿用於IKEA。首先,最重要的是,我們採用一套目錄來吸引消費者前來參觀我們的展示品,這些展示中心也就是我們今日的店面。其次,由於消費者手中持有目錄,因此他們可以自行去參觀店內的產品組合,若他們有意願購買,可以先觸摸這些商品後,再決定是否購買。

當坎普拉開發並調整他的傢俱零售業務模式時,他開始對瑞典當地傢俱業者所組成的卡特爾組織愈發不滿,該組織不但嚴密,而且維持價格居高不下,他除了把這種現象視為是開闢其他銷售管道的契機之外,也誓言要改革這種令人無法茍同的社會問題,他寫下IKEA的願景(後來演變成為公司的標語:為人類創造更美好的生活):

當今的社會,拿龐大資源去滿足少數族群,極不合理,IKEA誓言要改革此現象,我們將以低廉價位,來提供造型完美、功能齊全的各種傢俱產品,讓一般人民均有能力去購買,我們具有旺盛的企圖心。

他們將這份小型的商業廣告迅速擴張成完整的商品目錄,該公司在1953年所推出的產品-組合式傢俱,發展成為IKEA另一項主軸特色。不同於購買整件的傢俱,消費者可自行載運包裝在扁平紙箱中的傢俱零件,回家之後自行加以組裝,這種組合式的產品概念迅速全面制度化,並且有效節省運輸和倉儲成本。然而,坎普拉以獨特的經營風格,將這些節省下來的成本反映在價格上,這種價廉物美的傢俱,吸引更多戰後新世代家庭的顧客群,在1953年到1955年間,該公司銷售額呈現倍數成長,由300萬克郎成長到600萬克郎。

供應商之管理:供貨來源之開發…...

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