Feature Article : The Value of Responsible Sourcing & Vendor Compliance Solutions
Vendor compliance programs are not uncommon when seeking to work with larger retailers or industrial organizations. Most have identified their own codes of conduct and/or other detailed supplier compliance requirements that often require frequent independent evaluations for successful ongoing partnerships.
Vendor compliance programs are created as an effort to improve supply chains and solutions. Retailers, associations and others are leveraging international standards and ensuring supply-chain transparency to key stakeholders.
Standards frequently used as a basis for vendor code of conduct requirements include:
• SA8000 Social Accountability
• ISO 26000 Social & Sustainability
• C-TPAT - U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism - Security
• Canada Customs Partners in Protection (PIP)
• ISO 9001 General Quality Management System
• ISO 14001 Environment & Sustainability
Compliance components vary depending on the organization. Many employ a combination of general quality management system (QMS) components, social responsibility and security. For example:
• Financial integrity
• Verification of insurance, as applicable
• Wages & benefits
• Child & voluntary labor & hours
• Safety & health
• Fire safety & prevention
• Bribery & ethics
• Environmental stewardship & sustainability
• Global security criteria
• Compliance w/ laws & regulations
• Quality assurance & control
Vendor (supplier) compliance evaluations and monitoring generally include the following:
• Documentation review, including licenses, permits and records relating to labor, employment, etc.
• A visual inspection of the premises
• Confidential worker interviews
An example audit performed for a supplier preparing for Walmart certification is found here:
The benefits of partnering with Pro QC for assistance with vendor compliance management include:
• Avoids penalty and other chargeback fees by working with the supplier to ensure compliance.
• Allows for frequent, on-site evaluations and monitoring without the associated internal travel expenses.
• Utilizes experienced and knowledgeable auditors and process improvement specialists that use their expertise to work with suppliers on detailed improvement plans and schedules.
• The use of local resources reduces associated language and general coordination issues.
• Improves supply chain performance.
• Avoids delays in manufacturing and/or shipments.
A representative sample of organizations Pro QC has assisted in preparation and compliance for vendor certification includes the following:
• Walmart Responsible Sourcing (RS, SCS, FCCA)
• Lowe’s SA Audit (Social Responsibility)
• PACCAR Supplier Requirements
• BJ’s Wholesale Club Social Standards
• Target Vendor Code of Conduct
• Canadian Tire Supplier Code of Business Conduct (SCBC)
• AutoZone Vendor Code of Conduct
What is the process?
When you partner with Pro QC for vendor compliance and management solutions, the process includes:
➢ Review of any previous audit results or other communications related to the existing supplier.
➢ Scheduling of an initial evaluation on-site using the applicable guidelines.
➢ Development of a detailed Improvement Plan that addresses any non-conformances, identifies corrective actions and assigns responsibilities and deadlines.
➢ Return visits to the supplier evaluate the progress of the action items identified in the Improvement Plan.
➢ Clients receive ongoing updates via an online database that allows for access 24/7.
Learn more. Contact us for additional information: