Don’t ASK don’t TELL procurement risks.

November 17th, 2010

We are not talking about a human rights campaign such as the militaries DADT. However in the procurement space failure to ask the correct questions regarding product safety can be a huge issue.

We have posted numerous times on product safety as regards everything from prescription drugs to receipt paper and just about every for resale and not for resale category in between. What is a given, is that if you do not ask about product safety your supplier is not apt to tell you what they do relative to product safety.

Let’s look at just a few examples.

1. Fresh Eggs: Did your buyer’s specification ask where the eggs you are planning to buy come from to the farm level?  Did you ask if the the farm or farms in question have been inspected and what their inspection record is. Did you ask if they have any certifications, what they are and if they are up to date?  Did you ask for the right to visit and walk the farm?
2. Receipt Paper:  Did your buyer’s specification ask who the source supplier is for your receipt paper to the mill level? Did you ask if the receipt paper is BPA free?
3. Reusable Grocery Bags: Here is a good one. All sorts of chains jumped on this in order to reinforce their CSR programs and claim a green initiative. Did your buyer’s specification ask if the product contained lead? Probably not.

These are just a very limited view of what is the growing issue we have with product safety in the United States and globally for that matter when we source off shore. The real question here is did your buyers even know to ask these questions? If they did not, who is really culpable down the road when a problem arises?  A better question here is, are your consumers just supposed to trust that you are doing the right thing by them.

If you don’t ask and your suppliers don’t tell, how in the world to we get control of this problem.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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