Locating, managing and updating supplier information that companies choose to do business with has never been more difficult.

May 11th, 2009

Regulatory requirements change almost daily as the supply chain continues to broaden globally. Emerging industries, new sources of supply, safety factors, environmental factors, detailed supplier information and traceability are but a few of the issues that require regular maintenance in order to mitigate a company?s risk.

Solution Providers to procurement professionals that provide supplier databases that are part of automating the procurement process, need to step up and make sure that their data support these changes on a regular basis to the greatest extent possible by providing knowledge ware that interacts with both regulatory agencies and suppliers to insure consumer safety and environmental impact as more new sources of supply and new products enter the supply chain on a daily basis.

Actions that solution providers can take may include but are not limited to:

1. Monitor daily alert data as to product recalls and safety warnings.
2. Trace warnings back to the original source of supply automatically and maintain history.
3. Require that suppliers meet certain safety certifications in order to participate in their database.
4. Require that suppliers meet required environmental certifications or programs in order to participate in their database
5. Provide a regular purge of suppliers that do not comply with necessary standards.
6. Adhere to a strict RFI process for new suppliers requesting participation in their database.
7. Provide a rating system for suppliers that are offered to companies as new sources of supply.
8. Monitor regulatory agencies such as ISO for new standards and include them as further requirements in supplier databases.

Ask your solution provider what their process is to grow manage and maintain their supplier database for your benefit.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Ron Southard

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