Consumers do the best job they can when trying to buy safe green products.

September 10th, 2009

It is up to retailers and their solution providers to assist their consumers by insuring that their suppliers in fact adhere to product specifications they source to.

This author does understand that insuring specification adherence is not an easy job. In order to do so, retailers require data that is not readily available to them. As such sources of that data need to come from somewhere. It can?t come from the supplier because you are asking a company to police themselves, and we all are aware of many examples in the past when that has not worked to well. As such third parties such as your supply chain software providers or procurement software providers appear to be the logical choice.

I recently read in the Arizona Republic on September 7th an article titled Anger uncorked at bottle maker by Michael Hill of the Associated Press. The article went on to quote a Vermont teacher who switched to aluminum bottles over two years ago for her two young daughters because of BPA or bisphenol-A which is a substance this author has posted about on a number of occasions. Apparently the manufacturer new that the bottles they sold contained trace amounts of BPA in the epoxy liners, but sold them as green and safe bottles. The manufacturer is now running a mail in recall program through the end of October where consumers can pick a new bottle that no longer contains any BPA.

The question this begs, and so aptly put by the mom is just how far does a consumer have to dig when trying to find safe and green alternatives for their families.

This is a process that e-negotiation suppliers can have an impact on if they capture the correct information prior to assisting retailers in sourcing these products. Beyond just hosting a retailers events, there is a lot of data that can be collected relative to a suppliers certifications and answers to specific questions such as; Does this product contain any BPA at all? In addition, samples can be provided that can also be tested if required.

It?s a shame that consumers have to do research beyond buying products that their retailer of choice markets as safe and green. It?s also a shame that retailers have to add this type of research to their procurement process.

Ask your e-procurement solutions provider how they can help with these processes during the hosting of e-negotiation events.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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