25 Jun 14

7 issues that shouldn’t stop you collecting responsible sourcing data


If you were to round up a room full of buyers, and ask them what challenges they face when collecting responsible sourcing data, you’ll likely be flooded with different answers! 

So if every buyer faces different challenges what chance do they have of getting it right and bringing suppliers with them?

Here’s just some of the challenges faced when collecting responsible sourcing data…

1. Trying to engage with suppliers who are busy

Sourcing strategies are often led by customer expectations and preferences. Add in the long list of suppliers that buyers might be working with and suddenly, trying to engage with all the different suppliers, becomes a difficult task!

2. Engaging with suppliers to get the data you need

Suppliers are dealing with more and more requests for information from customers and, what’s more, it’s a competitive market out there, with environmental and social performance becoming key requirements.

Throw in the fact that buyers are constantly attempting to engage with the suppliers to get the data they need, the process can become confusing and time consuming.

3. Monitoring all of the different responsible sourcing areas

Typically, buyers want data from suppliers about the following areas:

  • Environment

  • Health & Safety

  • Labour

  • Anti-bribery and corruption

But depending on business priorities, as well as legislative requirements, there could be additional areas to report on. Getting this information and ensuring that you have the right data certainly isn’t easy!

4. Trying to manage supplier data in multiple places

Managing even a small amount of data in one place can be difficult, so why would managing lot’s of data in multiple places be easy? It’s not!

The more variable you have, the more complex data gathering and consistent reporting becomes. Endless combinations of inputs and outputs can soon become unwieldy and hard to manage.

Rubbish in, rubbish out starts to reverberate in your head.

And very soon you can get to the point when it’s hard to know how robust and accurate the data becomes – or in other words, you struggle to know what data is right.

5. Inconsistent data provided by your suppliers

Collecting data from suppliers can already be difficult enough, let alone if the data provided is inconsistent. All this does is slow the process down and makes things difficult at both ends of the line. It means more work for everyone!

This could be avoided by providing suppliers with a straightforward questionnaire that makes it easier for them to provide data and means the right information on the first go!

6. Identifying risk in the supply chain

Identifying risk in your supply chain can be a huge challenge!

Mitigating risk is a big challenge and can provide some uncomfortable outcomes:

  • Damage to reputation

  • Loss of customers

  • Cost in retracing your steps

  • Loss of accreditations (Fair Trade, Organic Status, Free From Issues)

  • Breach of legislation

And then unravelling where mistakes have been made can compound your time to recovery.

If it’s such a common challenge among buyers, where is the solution?

7. Solving the issues of Collecting Responsible Sourcing Data

As if there aren’t already enough challenges when collecting responsible sourcing data, not being able to solve the issues is itself, a challenge.

A new software, SupplierPortal, rethinks a holistic solution from a whole of supply chain perspective and makes it possible.

Supplier’s can enter all of their data into the portal and then select the buyers to publish their data to.

Buyers then have access to their supplier’s information in a single interface, providing a management platform to access individual supplier reports, run comparisons, and benchmark performance. This enables more effective procurement decisions.  

Greenstone enables you to engage your suppliers through its award-winning supply chain sustainability software and support services. SupplierPortal is a supply chain management software solution providing your business with transparency and compliance across your entire supplier network.

SupplierPortal contact

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