Tag: social audits

What is Responsible Sourcing & How Do You Manage It Effectively?

Our latest video discusses a topic increasing in relevancy. Responsible Sourcing is also a topic we’ll be discussing next week at ASQ’s annual World Conference on Quality & Improvement.  Visit us in Booth 607, or attend one or both of our sessions on Monday, May 1st.

3pm – 4pm

M26: Managing Supplier Social Responsibility: On-Site Audits

5:30pm – 6:45pm

AF04: Incorporating SR Into Daily Life

Supply Chain Management – Webinar Review

Our Tampa office worked with the local ASQ section and Hillsborough Community College’s Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education and coordinated and instructed a series of webinars that will run through this month.  The webinar scheduled for today discusses Supply Chain Management, which many in our industry recognize is a broad topic. As a brief introduction, the following components are discussed:

Supplier Selection

  • Conduct a needs analysis (brainstorm and consider long-term growth expectations).
  • Conduct preliminary interviews and/or surveys.
  • Evaluate samples.
  • Perform on-site audits (general quality systems management, ISO based, social responsibility, security, etc.).
  • Use a grid analysis for objective decision making.

Supplier Evaluation (Performance)

  • Conduct pre-production, in-process and final pre-shipment inspections.
    • Trend the data and incentivize based on performance.
  • Perform regular audits. 
  • Develop a rating system.
    • Examples include no rating, quality rating only, quality & delivery rating (graphic method), quality & delivery method (cost index method) and a comprehensive method .

Supplier Partnerships

  • Share information – Communication and transparency are key.
  • Know and understand goals, vision and capabilities.
  • Incorporate training.
  • Develop supplier rewards associated with specific criteria.

Supplier Improvement (Corrective Action

  • Define, evaluate, implement, document and review results.
    • Seeks to eliminate the causes of nonconformities in order to prevent recurrence – Resolves product manufacturing issues.
    • Incorporates corrective action investigation, corrective action planning and corrective action verification.

Next week’s webinar will focus on Strategic Planning Tools.  Register here.  And, let us know what you think!

Social Accountability – SA8000 2008-2014 Comparison

Every five years SAI revises the SA8000 standard in order to ensure its continued relevance and adoptability. This process is conducted in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (the Code).

Social Accountability International recently discussed this process and offered a side-by-side comparison (2008-2014) for general review.

Aside from general and minor verbiage changes, other observations include:

  • The term “company” and “employer” has been replaced by “organization” in many areas.
  • The Guidance Document is now available for download rather than previously requiring a  “small fee.”
  • An “Introduction” referencing “Management System” and “Intent/Scope” replaces “Purpose and Scope” as the first item listed in the Contents.
  • Night hours are no longer excluded in regards to hiring young workers.
  • “Health & Safety” are expanded to include a Safety  Committee requirement and more detailed explanation of workplace environment and responsibilities therein.
  • Forced or Compulsory Labor expands on and adds that with certain requirements,
    “recruitment or employment fees or costs shall be charged directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, to
    workers.”
  • “Control” now becomes “Management” of Suppliers and Contractors.
  • Management Systems is expanded and incorporates Social Performance Teams.

Additional resources from SAI are available here.

As a 3rd party engineering & quality consulting firm, Pro QC offers SA8000 and ISO26000 audits as part of our core service offerings.  We have also written several other articles related to the topic of corporate social responsibility.

Social Accountability Audits – Benefits & Features 

ISO 26000 – Introducing the new social standard

Sustainability Audits – An Evolving Process

Celebrating working contributions & realizing the benefits of social audits

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Celebrating worker contributions & realizing the benefits of social audits

The first Monday in September is observed as Labor Day in the United States, which is a national holiday celebrating the contributions of workers.  Similar holidays are observed throughout the world.

Today, Samsung announced issues at several factories in China, indicating age disparities and other health and safety concerns.  They are committing to an evaluation of 144 suppliers before the end of the year, using documentation as a way to verify conformance to local regulations.  Apple and many other multinationals are facing similar issues and are working with NGOs, industry organizations and other 3rd parties such as Pro QC to improve supplier conditions and stakeholder confidence.

We have written several articles relating to on-site and verified social audits and are finding the request for such services are steadily increasing throughout the world.  Organizations of all  sizes and throughout industries are realizing the benefits of proactive supplier management in this regard.

Benefits of ensuring worker’s rights through social audits include:

Human Resources – Recruitment & Retention Benefits 
Higher employee morale leads to greater rates of retention, which cuts the costs of recruiting and training new staff. In addition, a growing trend in recruitment appears to be concern regarding a company’s corporate social responsibility activities.

Increased Product Quality & Safety
Reducing defects and accidents enhances product quality. A less fatigued and adult workforce is less likely to cause accidents or defects on the production line. In addition, a supplier that shows little concern over health and safety is more likely to produce poor quality products.

Risk Management 
Proactive corporate responsibility offsets the risks of scandals or accidents that can create unwanted attention from consumers, regulators, government or the media.

Brand Development
Investing in a socially accountable supply chain benefits a company’s brand by differentiating from competition and building a positive reputation in the minds of consumers.

Stronger Management 
Providing training, defining responsibility and developing manuals will strengthen the management of the company.

Government Intervention 
If businesses take voluntary steps to ensure social accountability, they are more likely to avoid mandated government regulation and taxation.

For additional information regarding the components of social audits, read our full newsletter article.   The American Society for Quality, through theSRO, has recently issued the latest Pathways to Social Accountability as well, which always includes several relevant and convincing case studies.