The other day I was searching around the internet and I came a across an interesting article on supplychaindigital.com entitled, “Four Steps for an Ethical Supply Chain.” It caught my attention. In a world so driven by competition and climbing to the top, often we leave our values and our ethics in the dust. In reading this piece I decided to share their four steps but give a slightly different thought on each one.
Research your Product
“You need to find out how your product is actually made and where the raw materials actually come from.”
If you don’t know the product, how do you plan on selling it? No matter what your position, or your department, you should know what you are working with. If you do not know how your product is made, or where it comes from, how can comfortably sell this product to a stranger. You should know every detail of the product you stand so proudly behind.
Research your Supply Chain
“You can’t understand your supply chain unless you physically see it with your own eyes.”
This goes back to being knowledgeable about your product. You should know the process it goes through in order to get to the end result. This is also a good way to get to know the faces behind the product. Get to know the workers involved in the supply chain process. Ask them questions. Learn everything they know and discover new ways to make their job easier, make them happier and in turn make your product better.
Hire Feet on the Ground
“Hire an on-site team independent from the factory operator to ensure that your interests are represented and that the operator can be held to account.”
You want to know your product and supply chain are being taken care of in the ethical way you envision. The best way to do this is to make sure there is someone there to hold others accountable for their actions and their work ethic. If this does not exist your product and supply chain could become less than ideal, resulting in a sub-par product being sold to your loyal customers.
Work with Third-Party Certifiers
“In order to preserve a variety of standards, use a third party that can spot things that you might not be able to.”
Simply, two heads are better than one. You spend so much time looking at your supply chain, maybe you think it’s the best it can be. Bring in an outside mind, let them look around and see where you can improve. They may see something you’ve been overlooking for years. This will allow your supply chain provide a more honest and ethical product, it could even increase your business.
These are just some of my thoughts on these four steps. Be sure to take a look at the article and share your thoughts on whether or not you think there are even more required steps. Please, leave your ideas in the comments section below.