Managing your supply chain can be complex and when you’re busy thinking about logistics, procurement, IT security and a host of other requirements, managing supplier compliance can fall down your list of priorities…
But as it’s your organisation’s responsibility to ensure every contractor working for you is compliant – and your reputation that’s at risk if something goes wrong – it’s crucial to make sure that everyone understands what’s required of them and can meet compliance standards.
Here are our top tips for securing supplier compliance from the start of a project:
Gather Relevant Information
Every project is different, and every supplier will have their own unique capabilities. To find the suppliers that are capable of carrying out a specific job successfully, you need to be clear on the information you need from them.
It can be tempting to ask as many questions as possible to all your suppliers, but you should only ask for the information you really need. If a supplier will never need to work at height while on your project, for example, then asking them whether they’re registered to work at heights is unnecessary. Being clear on what’s required should make it easier for suppliers to demonstrate their capabilities.
Verification is Key
Supplier assessment, or onboarding, is critical to ensure that the capabilities suppliers claim to have are valid, but it can be a time-consuming process. Before any work begins, you must check your supplier’s standards and verify that they have the insurance and certifications they need to meet your health and safety requirements.
A one-off check of suppliers’ credentials isn’t enough either – you must make regular checks to make sure that they’re compliant for the duration of the project. If a certificate expires or their insurance lapses while they’re on site, you could be liable.
Be Clear on Authorisation
When you approve a supplier to deliver work for your company, being specific on what they are authorised to do can make a real difference to your own team and to your suppliers.
Make sure everyone knows which suppliers are approved for which jobs – investing in good software can help you to distribute this information throughout your organisation and reduce admin time. Integrating supplier compliance information into your procurement and ordering systems can also streamline the process and ensure that non-approved suppliers aren’t used. You should also tell suppliers exactly what they’re approved for, as this should give them a sense of pride in their status and motivate them to maintain it.
Compliance Doesn’t Have to be Complex
When you’re trying to get a project off the ground quickly, having a simple way to see which suppliers are compliant with your requirements can significantly reduce your admin time. With Altius’s Exigo platform, you can develop a set of compliance questions that are tailored to your unique needs, so it’s clear to suppliers what is required of them.
Once you’ve chosen a supplier, you can also use Exigo to get a real-time view of their current compliance status, so you can rest assured that you’re not exposed to risk at any point in your project.
*If you think streamlining your supplier authorisation process could benefit your organisation, get in touch to find out more.