Monitor your supplier’s safety performance or else.

December 16th, 2009

Do you have time to monitor your supplier’s safety performance? Can your e-procurement solutions provider do it for you? Probably not!

When we think about safety and environmental standards in the supply chain, I honestly believe that retail buyers say quietly to themselves; how the hell are we supposed to monitor this stuff.

The issue becomes more complex when you consider that data is required  from your own organization relative to the historical performance of existing suppliers, data from the supplier as to their own assessment of their historical performance and finally external data that neither may have at their finger tips.

When we talk about safety and the environment, the questions that retailer buyers should ask suppliers is pretty simple. What certifications do you carry relative to food safety, product safety and environmental safety? Now ask your procurement solutions provider if they can provide that information from their supplier database without having to write an RFI to do it.  Let’s see who comes up with the answers first.

It may be easier for retailers to rely on their e-procurement solution providers for this type of data if the provider has it included in their supplier database. Pre-populated e-procurement templates can act as a form of scorecard for existing suppliers and potential news sources of supply. This is actually a type of automated RFI process which can save retailers a lot of work when trying to find additional sources of supply or when trying to drive cost down with existing suppliers. These data may also help to protect retailers from harmful litigation when products end up not being as safe as promised.

So where is the or else? Here you go. Or else your customers get sick. Or else the environment gets sicker. Or else someone gets hurt. Then we can pay the lawyers more and that’s a really big or else.
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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