Have you been in a situation where you were asked to detail how your company addresses potential brand risk associated with unethical supply chain practices?

If you so, you’ve had first hand experience with a tough question to answer.

In 2018, brand equity has been scrutinized more than ever and now plays a key role in customer loyalty and investor appeal. Furthermore, ethical supply chain practices (as a driver of brand equity) is now being addressed in nearly every fortune 5,000 company’s annual sustainability report.

Traditional supply chain due diligence activities include on-site factory audits to manage risk. Audits are the norm for measuring risk in areas like labor, ethical sourcing, product quality, facility safety and more. Regular monitoring of these risk indicators through on-site audits can be a costly venture with unforeseen variables that can lead to risk going undetected. At Source, we believe that supply chain transparency can only be achieved through connecting people, process, and technology. Let’s take a look at how we can apply technology to optimize risk management.

Data:

  • Strong data collection results is reliant on supplier response rates. Giving suppliers easy access to platform-based reporting tools maximize response rates and clarity within each assessment. 
  • Data consolidation is critical to audit review. True insights into supply chain risk are based on relative data point comparisons.

Supplier risk profiles and risk category filtering lead to valuable insights – achievable through data consolidation and platform technology.

Process Optimization:

  • Audit optimization is essentially categorizing suppliers by risk rating and prioritizing field audits by risk. This practice can be extremely efficient as you have the potential to reduce your overall costs. Word of caution, inaccurate data can make you miss a high risk supplier so strong infrastructure must be utilized.
  • The centralization of supplier compliance and audit data in one place can provide a holistic view of supplier risk.

Corrective Action Planning:

  • It is only through the implementation of corrective and preventive actions that continuous improvement may be achieved in supplier risk management. The first step to corrective action planning is to identify the group of suppliers who are considered high risk. Refer to the above areas of efficiency.

In short, the use of desktop assessments can optimize the implementation of on-site supplier audits. High risk suppliers can be prioritized, labor resources needed for on-site factory audits can be used more efficiently and the associated financial resources used more effectively. You’ll be happy because you have a tool that can scale as fast as your business grows, without creating disruption to supplier production through continuous onsite visits.

If you believe that your supply chain risk management processes could use an update or include an application of technology to optimize your existing process, click here to learn more about desktop assessments.

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