Safety certifications are not just about food and food born illness protection.

October 27th, 2008

What other types of issues should procurement professionals be thinking about relative to product safety when they talk to their suppliers?

What other types of issues should procurement professionals be thinking about relative to product safety when they talk to their suppliers?

Many times the ideas for my blog posts come from conversations with retailers. Often times those thoughts make it into our product development plans. In fact listening to our customers is one of our most important jobs.

During a visit with a retailer a couple of months back, the head of procurement complimented me on our companies efforts related to food safety and in particular commented on the 27 safety certifications we hold our 240,000 north American suppliers accountable to in our SafeSourceIt Supplier Database. He followed that with the statement that since they did not sell fresh foods, that area of our business did not apply to them.

This particular retailer does sell food products, cosmetics, private label bottled water and also bags the products they sell for their customers in plastic bags. I think most of you can see where I’m going with this. Plastic bags are a concern for many areas of the country and in fact outlawed in some areas due to their negative environmental impact. Food packaging can contain BPA. Dog food has contained products such as melamine. Toys have been found to contain lead. Recently the U.S. government issued a warning on baby garments sold by one of the most popular children’s labels, Carter’s Inc. Evidently, the fall 2007 line of Carter’s clothing which includes over 110 million garments has caused rashes in over 400 babies. The garments were made in a variety of foreign countries and sold in Carters stores as well as other retail chains.

So, let’s see that’s clothing, packaged foods, pet food, toys and bottled water. I guess we have to be careful with all of the products we buy. Suppliers need to be held accountable to a variety of standards and certifications while also providing traceability beyond the one forward and one back standard supported in the industry today.

Spend Management and other procurement providers need to be prepared to discuss how they intend to accomplish this for their retail partners in order to limit end user consumer risk, but also limit risk associated with litigation and other recall related costs that have a direct impact on company profit.

At SafeSourcing, all of our associates will be glad to have a detailed discussion relative to product safety and how our tools proactively address the problem.

We look forward to your comments

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