Primary Stakeholders for Fabulous Fits
Stakeholders are every entity that has an interest in a specific business, brand, or organization in general who can impact the business or get impacted by the business be it their management decisions, performances, and other functions. The typical stakeholders in an organization are investors, employees, customers, and suppliers.
The primary stakeholders for Fabulous Fits are first of all the major retailers that sell their products such as David Jones and Myer. All the suppliers that provide them the requirements specifically from Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar. Most certainly their customers needless to say an organization is useless without its customers. And the investors who have invested and those who are investing are also their source of capital hence major stakeholders.
The first remedy is to publicly announce that they will be backing everyone that has been negatively impacted and assure everyone venue the general public to restore trust and give them hope which is always important. After that, it is quite obvious that steps are to be taken to help Garmentz in Bangladesh as they have been more affected than anyone else (Malik and Naeem 2020). The pandemic may put such a company at loss but the loss for the low pay workers in Bangladesh would be more. Hence what the brand can do is reach out to their reserve and surplus funds or gather any other funds that they have to if not pay the whole amount of the deal at least may a huge chunk of it so that the workers can survive (Taqi et al. 2020). Next, they should make public appearances and announce their step and also re-assure that this is not the end of it and they will work as it will remove the rumors of them wanting to terminate their relationship with such small scale manufactories and try to make even better solutions to help all the people depending on them in every possible way.
The role of the company is in two different ways for two different categories of stakeholders. The first category depends on the profits such as their employees, shareholders, and others the second depends on their business such as the many .medium and small scale producers that supply them with clothes in this case Garmentz in Bangladesh (Kabir, Maple and Usher 2021). So their main responsibility is to restore trusts that have been shaken due to the pandemic.
Every brand has a responsibility towards the well-being of their employees hence to respond to the situation they must support and help the domestic workforce in whatever way they can. Be it the distribution of salaries even though the business is closed or other benefits. They can contribute by providing vaccination drives to make sure that every employee gets their due vaccine and at the same time organize health checkup camps. The best solution is perhaps to deliver a Covid-19 care package to the employees that can contain essentials such as masks, sanitizers, a wash, and other materials.
Their responsibility also stretches outside the boundaries of the nation to the many other lives that were depending on them. Canceling the order may be a by the book correct business decision that can be taken to save the business however it needs to be modified for the greater good (Islam et al. 2020). In this scenario, they have to collect funds from the reserves or capital that they have stored just like every business, and make sure that at least half or little more than half of the full payment is done so that the workers in Bangladesh can survive, at the same time assure them that they will resume taking orders once the restrictions are over with full clearance of a funds advance before even receiving the product which is their usual contract policy (Sakamoto, Begum and Ahmed 2020). They can also make the promise of paying more than the usual amount once the business resumes at the same time contact NGOs who are helping with relief measures and provide them with resources to deliver Covid-19 care packages to the homes of the worker in Bangladesh as that would be a kind gesture that will remove the fear and restore trust. A
Solutions to Help Bangladesh Producers
Like the other major companies, they must have an emergency fund as that will be the first step towards being prepared for anything and everything. Financial backing is highly necessary for any CSR activity. Every brand has a responsibility towards society and this has a huge impact on its reputation and stakeholders' trust. To make sure that they are ready financially they must allow a certain percentage of funds that is to be channeled from every possible action to produce the emergency fund that is to be audited every year to make sure that the fund is not touched unless it is an emergency where they must support their stakeholders. They can easily acquire 5% to 10% of profits from their annual revenue at the same time remove a certain percentage of fresh capital and channel it towards the emergency fund are some examples.
As the second step of being prepared for similar future encounters the company must consult with engineers to make sure that they design and make modifications to the structure in such a way that on short notice if ever needed then the office building can be transformed into a shelter that can provide food and water and the necessities to the people in need. During the pandemic many schools and colleges were converted into quarantine zones and makeshift hospitals, the similar concept should be applied to the office to support and help the community.
The company should make modifications to its policy and the business model that is the operations. The usual policy allows them to cancel mid-order at the same time to make payment only after receiving the products (Hossain 2021). That is up to some extent unfair as the manufacturers are not financially very string so they somehow manage to buy the raw materials required to produce the clothes by buying raw materials on their fund taking a complete risk as the brand has not yet paid so even if there was no pandemic and the company was to cancel then the small scale producers will suffer the most. Hence the policy can be such that Fabulous Fits will pay a certain percentage as advanced payment with which the small scale producers can start the manufacturing and pay for their workforce and after full delivery, the rest of the payment can be done (Sen et al. 2020). This will be a win-win situation for both parties hence it is strongly recommended that this step is followed strictly. They must also customize their policies regarding overtime as the minor laborers in Bangladesh or other regions can work extra to earn a respectable bonus which can help them survive and have a better standard of living. As observed the garment workers would consult with each other regarding if there is any new big order coming so that they can earn extra this can be changed into something positive by being more transparent so that they are aware of what is going on with the main company (Brydges and Hanlon 2020).
Role of Company towards Stakeholders
The pandemic was by far the biggest proof of the fact how vulnerable human beings are psychologically hence they can organize periodic sessions with a certified psychologist to take sessions and assess the mental conditions of the employees so that the company can help them have a better state of mind (Abidin et al. 2021). There are many other supporting needs that the company can organize on a global scale that can always keep the morale high. One of those can be to visit the manufacturer in the corners of the world as a courtesy visit and perhaps organize some fun event that day. What this does is ensures trust in the employers for the workers hence the next time such things happen there will be no need to spread rumors or speculate unnecessarily to jump to conclusions instead just trust their leaders to find a solution for the challenges ahead.
The final step is based on the observations made, the case clearly shows how there was a lack of communication and unpreparedness. The brand was not prepared for the pandemic or any kind of emergency nor were they prepared for public speaking as the leaders were caught off guard. To safeguard the future the company can hire a good PR team. This will make sure that the leaders are always well informed beforehand about everything that is surrounding the company so that they’re never caught off guard by the press (Ihlen and van Ruler 2007). At the same time, the PR managers can perform their duties of deescalating the situation if any, and also protecting the repudiation of the company by making smoother communication and removing rumors if any. As the case study shows how one rumor led to another which led to an incident that could have been easily avoided. Hence the final step should be to have a good PR team and to make sure that even the leaders are trained and advised on how to handle the media.
Abidin, C., Lee, J., Barbetta, T., and Miao, W.S., 2021. Influencers and COVID-19: reviewing key issues in press coverage across Australia, China, Japan, and South Korea. Media International Australia, 178(1), pp.114-135.
Sen, S., Antara, N., Sen, S., & Chowdhury, S.(2020). The Unprecedented Pandemic'COVID-19'Effect on the Apparel Workers by shivering the Apparel Supply Chain. Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 11(3), pp.1-20.
Brydges, T. and Hanlon, M., 2020. Garment worker rights and the fashion industry’s response to COVID-19. Dialogues in Human geography, 10(2), pp.195-198.
Kabir, H., Maple, M., and Usher, K., 2021. The impact of COVID-19 on Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) workers. Journal of Public Health, 43(1), pp.47-52.
Malik, S. and Naeem, K., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Women: Health, livelihoods & domestic violence.
Hossain, M.I., 2021. COVID-19 impacts on employment and livelihood of marginal people in Bangladesh: Lessons learned and ways forward. South Asian Survey, 28(1), pp.57-71.
Islam, M.R., Hassan, M.A., Hassan, M.S., Rahman, S. and Nargis, N., 2020. Impact of a covid-19 pandemic on readymade garments (rmg) industry of Bangladesh. International Journal of Management (IJM), 11(7), pp.1125-1132.
Sakamoto, M., Begum, S. and Ahmed, T., 2020. Vulnerabilities to COVID-19 in Bangladesh and a reconsideration of sustainable development goals. Sustainability, 12(13), p.5296.
Taqi, H.M., Ahmed, H.N., Paul, S., Garshasbi, M., Ali, S.M., Kabir, G. and Paul, S.K., 2020. Strategies to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the supply chain: implications for improving economic and social sustainability. Sustainability, 12(22), p.9483.
Ihlen, Ø. and van Ruler, B., 2007. How public relations work: Theoretical roots and public relations perspectives. Public Relations Review, 33(3), pp.243-248.
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