When things go wrong with your supply chain compliance and risk management, they can go very very wrong. British supermarkets are understandably touchy when it comes to horse meat and now they even more so thanks to chicken suppliers.
These two examples are the first ones that come to mind. Quite possibly given my love of food. That and both of these troubling events were reported on heavily – something that did no favours to the success of the companies involved. Throughout other industries there will be plenty of examples of other questionable and at times, catastrophic compliance errors.
Here are a few issues that should make you consider your compliance practices:
- Your team groans whenever a management report is required at short notice
In order to bring together all the requisite data everyone in the team knows they are going to have to consult multiple spreadsheets, each owned by different people. Not only that, but they will need to login to a variety of other systems in order to collate the rest of the information required. In short, this is going to take up a lot of time.
- Your view of the supply chain is less than pin sharp.
It’s worth consistently checking up on your supply chain visibility, ideally in real time. Provided the data is available, where are the blind spots? Can you analyse the data and pick out where your weak points are, thereby reducing risk? If you can’t, well, a solution must be found.
- Your team are always busy, busy on the day to day
They have no time to approach things strategically, they have no time to analyse the process they are running through. Instead, their day to day is inputting data and following the current process with no time to do what they really enjoy. Which is often to improve the entire system.
- Change worries you an unhealthy amount
Inevitably governments will come up with new legislation, they will push it on to you at the worst moments and your system will need to respond. In recent times we have seen an emphasis on modern slavery for example. What if your business needs change and you suddenly have to on-board multiple suppliers in a short period of time? Ensuring that compliance updates are done at regular intervals too, is that easily automated and organised?
- You have a recurring nightmare that features you in court
If the worst comes to the worst and you have to defend yourself in court, how easily could you recover a full audit trail to show that your compliance system is exemplary?
There are plenty of other questions out there, but the general point from the article is to understand just how solid your system and processes are. This will always start and finish with how good your data is. If you are confident in the level of your data and thus your compliance, then there are no problems. If not, there is no harm in taking the time to review where and how you can make improvements and importantly, savings.