Supply Management Code

Sharon Gillespie, a new buyer at Visionex, Inc., was reviewing quotations for a tooling contract submitted by four suppliers. She was evaluating the quotes based on price, target quality levels, and delivery lead-time promises. As she was working, her manager, Dave Cox, entered her office. He asked how everything was progressing and if she needed any help. She mentioned she was reviewing quotations from suppliers for a tooling contract. Dave asked who the interested suppliers were and if she had made a decision. Sharon indicated that one supplier, Apex, appeared to fit exactly the requirements Visionex had specified in the proposal. Dave told her to keep up the good work. Later that day Dave again visited Sharon’s office. He stated that he had done some research on the suppliers and felt that another supplier, Micron, appeared to have the best track record with Visionex. He pointed out that Sharon’s first choice was a new supplier to Visionex and there was some risk involved with that choice. Dave indicated that it would please him greatly if she selected Micron for the contract. The next day Sharon was having lunch with another buyer, Mark Smith. She mentioned the conversation with Dave and said she honestly felt that Apex was the best choice. When Mark asked Sharon who Dave preferred, she answered, “Micron.” At that point Mark rolled his eyes and shook his head. Sharon asked what the body language was all about. Mark replied, “Look, I know you’re new but you should know this. I heard last week that Dave’s brother-in-law is a new part owner of Micron. I was wondering how soon it would be before he started steering business to that company. He is not the straightest character.” Sharon was shocked. After a few moments, she announced that her original choice was still the best selection. At that point Mark reminded Sharon that she was replacing a terminated buyer who did not go along with one of Dave’s previous preferred suppliers.


1. What does the Institute of Supply Management code of ethics say about financial

Conflicts of interest?

2. Ethical decisions that affect a buyer’s ethical perspective usually involve the organizational environment, cultural environment, personal environment, and industry environment. Analyze this scenario using these four variables.

3. What should Sharon do in this situation?

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