Your supply chain is exposed to myriad problems, because of transparency issues, geography and variance in regulations in the jurisdictions they’re found in.
But as a procurement professional, knowing your supply chain is crucial. Uncovering practices which can leave the company you represent exposed to protests and customer backlash is an imperative today. With people becoming increasingly concerned about the way products and components are produced at source, it’s crucial that procurement is aware and proactive.
In this post, we’ll share 3 steps to a more sustainable supply chain. These steps will support maintaining an ethical public profile for your business and protect it from exposure to damaging public relations liabilities.
1. Lifting the veil – auditing.
Regular audits of your supply chain will make much clearer what’s going on in every link. While some may object to the complexity and resources involved in conducting them, both buyers and suppliers benefit from regular checks to assure that ethical labor practices and safe workplaces are upheld.
Audits open the lines of communication between you and your suppliers and provide a platform for key relationship-building. You’re also providing a global service, when you educate suppliers about the importance of compliance on key measures of sustainability.
Suppliers need to understand that a failure to comply with audits, or a refusal to follow recommendations for reform, will result in loss of the contract.
There is always an alternative source for what you need. Making that abundantly clear to non-complying suppliers is a motivator which works in both your favors. You get what you need from a sustainable supply chain, or you make your supply chain more sustainable by working with your supplier toward reform. Either way, you win and suppliers who are non-compliant learn that the market is not tolerant of certain unsustainable practices.
3. Work for change through direct support.
Of the 3 steps to a more sustainable supply chain, this is easily the most important. Working for change by directly supporting the local communities your suppliers are found in is world-building work. It helps your suppliers create better conditions and more environmentally-sustainable practices. It also provides your business with a public relations tool.
Telling stakeholders what you’re doing to improve the sustainability of your supply chain makes you the “good guys”. You’re taking a strong leadership role which reflects well on your business, supports communities in need of stronger regulations and supports families in supplier locations by creating more favorable conditions, across the board.
Education through the supply chain about sustainability and what it takes to get there is providing a public service that does your business profile good, building both public relations capital and a more sustainable world.
CenterPoint Group – trusted procurement advisors.
Built on three defining pillars – integrity, value and leadership, CenterPoint leverages the pooled resources of our members to bring them exceptional cost reductions on everyday purchases.