The ECA explores the real implications of crime activity in the manufacturing sector

The importance of integrity has always existed among the business community, but in recent times has been shown as falling short.

Without integrity at the helm of a company, a business is usually short-lived. In fact, when business integrity is present throughout the deepest layers of a company and not just at its surface, it becomes the heart and soul of the company’s culture and can mean the difference between a company that succeeds and a company that falters.

The manufacturing sector of Trinidad and Tobago has been an easy target for illegal activity in the country for quite a number of years. While these activities may not be the actions of the employer(s), the employer(s), manufacturing sector and the country on a whole suffer great consequence. This is why we need to act now and identify the vulnerability that presents itself within the manufacturing sector and put a stop to it.

In taking action, one must first understand the chain of events that occurs when one of our own is targeted in this very sector and the severity of it to the nation.
This sector is one of the most recognised sectors in Trinidad and Tobago due to the various brands that exist and for the large workforce that it employs. While these characteristics act as identifiers to the industry, they are also the first to be affected when unfavourable events occur which will eventually result in a decreased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In an industry such as manufacturing, reputation is crucial. These employers sole existence rely on their brand and the reputation that the brand carries. A brand takes years and a lot of money to build. However, it takes one moment, one scenario for that brand to be effected and to lose its reputation which can be devastatingly costly for the employer, the sector and for the country depending on the organization’s scope of reach.

The investigation into these illegal activities can take months and can and will take a toll on the employer, eventually. Other businesses will protect their own reputation and the employer may face the loss of various business partnerships and also exacerbate its current situation on numerous legal fees. In this event, the employer may be forced to cut staff to keep abreast. However, in extreme cases the employer may have to close the business indefinitely. For a business such as a manufacturing organization in Trinidad to close its doors can be detrimental to the country as they employ several thousands of employees, especially the larger manufacturers. This will in no doubt have a huge impact on crime and the country’s economy and Gross Domestic Product.

Illegal activities in the manufacturing industry have been rampant for over a decade in this country. And, unfortunately, with every occurrence, the risk profile increases in the manufacturing sector which results in foreign investors deterring and lower investments means lower than full potential output. Also, the risk profile of the country reflects in a decreased credit rating for the country. This means the cost increases for borrowing money for the country; therefore, Trinidad and Tobago will have less access to much needed capital.
                                
In keeping these illegal activities at bay, bureaucratic checks and government measures need to be put in place to prevent such instances from repeating itself, resulting in increased cost. As these new measures require time, it will hinder on the production of goods and services; lowering efficiency and by extension the GDP of Trinidad and Tobago.

http://www.webpronews.com/the-principles-of-business-integrity-2004-07
The Employers Consultative Association (ECA) understands the risks posed to our employers in the Manufacturing Sector and we stand by you in working together to put a stop this.

Without integrity at the helm of a company, a business is usually short-lived. In fact, when business integrity is present throughout the deepest layers of a company and not just at its surface, it becomes the heart and soul of the company’s culture and can mean the difference between a company that succeeds and a company that falters.

The importance of integrity has always existed among the business community, but in recent times has been shown as falling short. It is the Internet’s immeasurable impact on the global marketplace that is now making the expression of integrity, reliability and credibility extremely important. Furthermore, the consequence of global competition means that customers will simply not consider a company that shows any less than the highest level of integrity. Since there is a wealth of competitive companies easily available and accessible via the Internet, there is in fact no need to accept anything less than the best.

Where Does Integrity Start?

In an effort to build upon a foundation of integrity, the first requirement would be to establish excellent rapport with clients. Based on many years of study, the best and most practiced method for achieving rapport is by way of Relationship Marketing. Just as it sounds, Relationship Marketing is founded on the single and most critical characteristic, known as “Integrity.” However, achieving true integrity with clients often leaves many an entrepreneur bewildered, grasping for techniques and strategies that guarantee their futures. But integrity is not something that can be grasped and then simply used. Integrity in its essence must be so ingrained within the nature of an individual, its company and the team members, that it remains steadfast no matter what. Without question, others sense it and find it very attractive.
The True Nature of Integrity!

Now you are probably asking yourself, what is the true nature of integrity? There are in fact some very basic principles that surround the qualities of business integrity. At its core, integrity begins with a company leader who understands the qualities of integrity which then filters down throughout the company into every department and every member’s approach and attitude.

In recent research performed by the Institute of Business Ethics- an organization which is among the world’s leaders in promoting corporate ethical best practices, it was found that companies displaying a “clear commitment to ethical conduct” almost invariably outperform companies that do not display ethical conduct. The Director of the Institute of Business Ethics, Philippa Foster Black, stated: “Not only is ethical behavior in the business world the right and principled thing to do, but it has been proven that ethical behavior pays off in financial returns.” These findings deserve to be considered as an important tool for companies striving for long-term prospects and growth.

The following 7 Principles of Business Integrity are the basics of integrity and a good starting off place to consider. By integrating each of these principles within a company environment, the result will be nothing short of a major rebirth of the enterprise.

Principle #1 Recognize that customers/clients want to do business with a company they can trust; when trust is at the core of a company, it is easy to recognize. Trust defined is assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of a business.

Principle #2 For continuous improvement of a company, the leader of an organization must be willing to open up to ideas for betterment. Ask for opinions and feedback from both customers and team members and your company will continue to grow.

Principle #3 Regardless of the circumstances, do everything in your power to gain the trust of past customer’s and clients, particularly if something has gone awry. Do what you can to reclaim any lost business by honoring all commitments and obligations.

Principle #4 Re-evaluate all print materials including small business advertising, brochures and other business documents making sure they are clear, precise and professional; most important make sure they do not misrepresent or misinterpret.