The (Illegal) Immigrant Supply Chain

Even if you strongly believe in immigrant's rights in the US -- I say kick the bottom 20% off the welfare books each year (just like GE) and welcome a new wave of harder workers to our great country -- it's unlikely that you're considering the risk that illegal workers pose to your supply chain, according to a recent Purchasing study. The report also notes that while "less than 4% of buyers said their supply chains have been impacted by immigration issues and only one said it was the result of an immigration raid … Several respondents said they saw suppliers struggle when illegal workers went to their home countries for holidays and did not or could not return."

So much for not mattering to the supply chain! The truth is that illegal immigrants are very much a part of the United States' workforce -- especially lower down in the supply chain tiers. And even though many Spend Matters readers might disagree with our political policies regarding illegal immigrant labor -- as do I -- it's everyone's responsibility in the procurement and operations world to think through the supply risk that a potential factory shut down due to an immigrant raid or new worker-related policies can pose. And it's also our responsibility to track supplier compliance on these issues as well.

Jason Busch

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