Standards in global supply chains are a hot topic, since around 80% of manufacturing around the world is sub-contracted. The result of so much product manufacture being out of direct control is that businesses today need to focus on ensuring they have best practice standards not only in place, but also that their suppliers adhere to them.
About 10 years ago supply chain standards weren’t seen as such an issue, but the landscape has most definitely changed. Consumers do expect the businesses they use to adhere to good ethical standards, a good example of this is that if a product says its beef then it should be beef.
It’s not just the food industry many consumers are concerned by the working conditions and standards of the people making the items they are buying. Disasters like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh highlight keenly that cheap goods can come at an unacceptable cost.
Setting the Standard
Setting practical supply chain standards for a business requires an in depth understanding of the business itself, its supply chain and the risks involved. There is also a delicate balance to be met between costs and efficiency verses quality and ethics.
In the end each set of business supply chain standards although have similarities across industries and sectors will be unique to the company itself.
Having standards in place is only one step in the process, ensuring your supply chain is meeting your requirements is another thing. Monitoring and auditing is another key piece of the puzzle as is having contingency plans in place should you need to replace or adjust part of the chain.
With all the different elements involved it’s no wonder many businesses feel overwhelmed by the issue. It therefore makes perfect sense that rather than ignoring the issue you get an experts help.
An experienced supply chain consultant can help you review your current standards and take you through the process of improving them step by step. This will not only results in an effective set of standards, but also a supply chain that follows them plus is robust enough to withstand change.