Is there a possible black hole for retailers when it comes to Ethical Compliance?
We believe there’s a ‘Black Hole’ with regards to monitoring the ethical compliance of retailer’s third party logistics providers.
Increasingly, retailers are turning their attention to their end-to-end supply chain processes and working hard to audit and improve working conditions in their supplier factories and sub-factories, all the way down to their cotton mills and farms.
However, we think there is a critical element that’s being missed.
What happens during the handling of goods once they’ve left the factory gates?
Our group logistics company ‘Allport Cargo Services’ have made it their duty to improve and measure ethical compliance when handling our clients’ goods. It’s the only logistics provider who is a member of the retailer-led Ethical Trade Initiative.
Allport Cargo Services also has its own Ethical Compliance Programme in addition to using the latest Ethical Trade Management software to underpin the management of the process, to ensure a fully transparent and compliant supply chain.
Ethical Trading is on every Retail Conference Agenda!
We know that Ethical Trading is a hot topic that is on most, if not every Retail Supply Chain conference agenda. An increasing percentage of retailers are working hard to ensure their end-to-end supply chain is ethically compliant. There are multiple discussions surrounding working conditions in factories, sub factories, mills and cotton farms.
A growing focus on ‘Direct to Market’ leading to off-shoring.
In addition to ethical compliance objectives there is a growing focus on reducing costs alongside global programmes for ‘Direct to Market’. As a result, there is an increase in freight and product related services being off shored such as Consolidation, QC, Pick and Pack etc. This results in higher volumes of product and cargo passing through third party and off shore facilities.
This leads us to ponder, could the time and money retailers are investing into improving working conditions through the manufacturing process then be compromised if products are being handled in poor working conditions in freight and processing facilities?
Allport Cargo Services’ Ethical Compliance Programme is Bridging the Gap…
The Allport Cargo Services Group ensure ethical compliance at the critical point in the supply chain where the retailer takes ownership of the goods but it’s responsible for the handling of their client’s goods beyond the factory gate, and prior to arrival at the end distribution.
The Allport Cargo Services Group want to ensure this gap is not overlooked. It’s taken full responsibility to monitor its own processes. This commitment to ethical practice has further led it to adopt the same stringent auditing and improvements programmes as that of a responsible retailer. Allport Cargo Services are leading the way by being the only logistics provider who is a member of the ETI (Ethical Trade Initiative).
Further underpinning it’s commitment to ethical processes, is the implementation and use of ediTRACK’s very own software ‘Lighthouse Ethical Trade’ a cloud based product that is delivering best practice ways of working. Our software product has been built in conjunction with experienced retailers and manages tasks such as; supplier and factory profiling, multi tier relationships and the management of audit requirements including ‘Corrective Action Plans’. Lighthouse Ethical Trade also includes advanced functionality such as extensive ‘finger tip’ reporting capabilities plus a highly visual performance reporting tool to manage, define and communicate ethical strategy.
Moreover, using our ‘Lighthouse Ethical Trade’ in combination with Allport Cargo Services ‘LIMA’ (Logistics Information Management Application) system; it provides clients with a fully integrated and transparent supply chain.
Allport Cargo Services have full visibility of risk ratings, outstanding issues and relationships between live factories. It can access information regarding stop/go decisions at critical points within the supply chain. Having ‘Lighthouse Ethical Trade’ ensures that its entire business and its clients have shared visibility and work collaboratively through internal departments and suppliers.
It’s promise to monitor ethical compliance and manage it through ‘Lighthouse’ means Allport Cargo Services are ‘bridging the gap’ which significantly reduces the risk of any damaging incidents to the people all the way along its own supply chain and its customers.