Purchasing: what is the purpose of mediation at Safran?
How does mediation help develop balanced and lasting relations between Safran and its suppliers? Since September 2018, Karen Beaudron, Safran Supplier Relations Manager and Mediator, has been promoting dialogue with our various stakeholders and ensuring responsible purchasing.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an “Alternative Dispute Resolution” method. My role is to facilitate dialogue between Safran and the supplier, to act as a neutral intermediary between two parties who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship, and to help them find a solution in order to avoid a definitive breakdown in relations. I only get involved if both parties agree. Through meetings and discussions, I help the stakeholders find a win-win solution on their own, to re-establish a relationship of trust.
From my experience, I find that mediation is generally welcomed. It is even the preferred option to find a quick, fair agreement together, one that safeguards the relationship between Safran and the supplier. Asking for mediation does not reflect negatively on the professionalism of the purchaser or the supplier who uses it.
I'm also involved prior to the dispute resolution stage. I am often contacted by suppliers who want to obtain information or find out how to proceed. Ultimately, this helps improve supplier relations within a framework of mutual trust.
Who can use mediation, and why?
I may be contacted internally or externally: Group companies, suppliers, SMEs and large companies, anyone can contact me for a mediation request. That’s what I like about this job. I get to work with people with a wide variety of experiences, on intellectually fulfilling topics. The mediator is available to everyone. I may mediate on contractual matters that involve finance, intellectual property, research and technology. In purchasing, good personal relations are paramount, and it’s my role to help strengthen that bond.
What makes mediation important for Safran?
Since 2010, Safran has been a “Responsible Purchasing Relationships” (RFAR) certified Group, which prompted it to appoint an internal mediator. As part of our CSR* policy, using a mediator means that Safran is working every day to maintain balanced relations with all its suppliers, and to guarantee responsible purchasing over the long term. Safran represents responsible industry. It is part of its DNA.
Using a mediator, whose services may be free of charge, also helps to avoid going to court in the vast majority of cases, thereby preserving Safran’s image and avoiding expenses for both parties.
*Corporate Social Responsibility