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28 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 Feature Article by Michael Ford AEGIS SOFTWARE When making the decision to purchase ma- terials, there is a strong benefit from a trust in the supplier. When materials are in short sup- ply, however, there is no time to establish trust with a new supplier, especially when it's the only one that can fulfill a requirement. While the manufacturing world is seeking methods to find trust with previously unknown suppliers, there are also those who are getting cleverer at disguising their oen-nefarious activities— ones that could bring catastrophic results. In the real world, how can supply chain trust be established and maintained, or is it safer to as- sume that everyone is out to get us? Trust Me Long-standing supply chain relationships once dominated the industry, with quite per- sonal interaction between companies that brought investment in mutual business oppor- tunity and growth. ere were, of course, ex- amples of "bad apples" in the "family," individ- uals taking a selfish approach that sometimes compromised the relationship, but it was quite rare, relatively visible, and reparable. As the world has expanded over the years, compa- nies are now larger, more remote, and more anonymous. In social media posts, we occa- sionally see extreme opinions and challeng- es being shared, knowingly or even intending, to be hurtful. Anonymity shields the protago- nist from potential repercussions, reigniting the "us vs. them" narrative that is opposite in nature to the trust in relationships that we want to build. As companies increase in size and become more remote, pur- chasing relationships change, with dedicated roles with- in each organization taking on more control, and a wider view. Trust can be destroyed by a warehouse operator or van driv- er, likely to be earning relative- ly little, who can be more eas- ily corrupted. Counterfeiters and others are, by contrast, be- coming quite clever and sophis- ticated in their attacks and cov- er-ups, and are very skillful at 'Trust Me, I Have Your Chips Right Here'

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