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Enable Sustainable and Ethical Collaboration with Suppliers

By in Enablon on September 29, 2011

A need for supplier self assessment and information sharing

The Company is a not for profit membership organization for businesses committed to the continual improvement of the ethical performance of their supply chains.

The Company provides a secure online platform which companies can use to share and monitor sustainability data across the supply chain. The system is currently used in 160 countries and is available in six languages.

From the very beginning the Company recognized the importance of having a supplier driven model. This would ensure that suppliers were entirely committed and engaged in the process. It was critical to ensure that the suppliers were involved in establishing the infrastructure and did not just view it as a compliance mandate from their clients.

To better understand and structure sustainability data, the Company developed a comprehensive self assessment questionnaire which requests information on four key pillars:
* Labor standards
* Health and Safety
* Business Integrity (anti-corruption, anti bribery, etc.)
* Environment

Retailers, brand owners and other large Company members ask their suppliers to register with the Company and provide information across these four critical areas. The self assessment questionnaire was created by the Company members, with input from the the Company team, and the questions were designed to capture detailed, site specific information.

The suppliers own the information entered into the questionnaire and have control over how this data is shared. The Company encourages suppliers to fill in the self assessment questionnaire every six months to ensure that information is updated on a frequent basis.

Once a supplier has completed the questionnaire and shared the data, their customers have the option of running a risk assessment tool. The risk assessment tool looks at risks based on the country of production; types of products produced; and site specific details such as number of workers, work processes, management system, environmental and safety policy. This tool then develops the likely risk profile of all the suppliers that have provided their information. This information is critical for retailers and brand owners, as it helps them to prioritize suppliers based on their risk assessment score.

The information collected on the Company system is critical for retailers and brand owners to understand and control what’s happening in their supply chain. Moreover, the concept of database enabled sharing helps to considerably decrease duplication of data collected across the supplier base.

The Company needed a trusted IT partner that would enable them to effectively collect and share the data with different stakeholders and so the Company selected Enablon as their IT provider following a rigorous tender process.

An increased visibility over supply chain and overall cost saving for retailers

With a robust supplier management system, the Company now provides suppliers with an easy way to share information with their customers. Company members have direct access to the system which makes information sharing very quick and easy. The new system, along with the data collected from different sources, helps to generate costs savings throughout the supply chain. It enables customers to review supplier data and use the information provided to decide if an audit is needed. The system, along with the self assessment questionnaire, also helps suppliers to better understand their customers’ requirements.

Commenting on their system, the GM of the Company said, “The focus of our organization is on collecting, capturing and sharing ethical supply chain information. The Company system reduces duplication, resulting in greater efficiency and lower costs. Through using the system to track supplier activity, members can identify any potential ethical issues whilst driving improvement through the supply chain.”

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