Call us Join or login
Client login Supplier login
I’d like to join a network Get started
Altius
Login or Sign up
Client login Supplier login
I’d like to join a network Get started
Category: Uncategorised

Five skills required by modern retail supply chain professionals in 2020

Confidence in supply chain competencies in the future is set to drop to an all-time low, according to Deloitte’s latest report, Supply Chain Talent of the Future.

While 87% of supply chain leaders are confident that their organisation has the competencies required to meet demands of the job, this figure dropped to 77% when leaders were asked about their confidence in five years’ time.

Combined with all survey respondents, confidence levels in supply chain talent in five years’ time dropped even further to just 44%. Deloitte’s report was quick to point out the role that technology is set to play in the industry, hence the reason for the decline in confidence.

“The coming years will likely be one of those eras of dramatic transformation thanks to a combination of accelerating technology development and widespread experimentation with new operating models.”

The retail industry faces more change than most industries, but what can modern retail supply chain professionals do to get ahead and increase confidence amongst their leaders and peers?

Amidst the technological boom, here we look at just five skills required by supply chain professionals, as identified by Deloitte’s report.

 

1 – Strategic thinking and problem solving

74% of respondents believe strategic thinking and problem-solving will become one of the key skills required in five years’ time. Supply chain models will be under experimentation and professionals will need to study the ‘bigger picture’ in order to meet the wider demands of the company.

 

2 – Ability to communicate and collaborate

While 68% of respondents said the ‘ability to collaborate across functions’ will be one of a number on skills required by supply chain professionals, 65% said the ability to persuade and communicate effectively is required too. Whether they are speaking to teams internally or suppliers on a strategic level, communication is a paramount tool to keep the company ticking over.

 

3 – Leading and developing others

It is no real surprise to see that leading and developing others is still an important skill required. 66% believe this will be an important skill to have in the future, which reflects a growth in its importance compared to only 41% in the current climate. Any failures to develop the next generation, of course, effects the future supply chain excellence – this is much the same position that the industry faces now.

 

4 – Manage global teams

Respondents believed there would be a 23% increase in demand for supply chain professionals to manage global teams. This also extends to virtual teams who may be working from home, but still have a critical role to play in the supply chain function.

As a good starting point, current ‘supply chain leaders’ have already revealed in the report that they facilitate virtual workplace practices (37%) – making the transition to working with a global and remote team, a lot easier to do.

 

5 – Negotiate with value chain partners

While the ability to negotiate and collaborate with value chain partners now is seen as the most important competency by respondents (51%), this will not be the most important in five years’ time. While technology will provide professionals with the data required to drive better value, this leaves them in a position to be more strategic, as well as focus on generating the talent.

 

Are you prepared for other changes?

The supply chain talent pool and skills required aren’t the only changes that are set to occur in the industry. The retail industry is set to see dramatic change as consumers push for greater customisation, brand transparency and entertainment.

To read more about these trends, download our free guide, Retail 2020: A future insight of trends that will affect facility and property management.

How will change in the retail industry affect you in 2020? Download report

NEW REPORT – Retail 2020: A future insight of trends that will affect facility and property management

Retail 2020: A future insight of trends that will affect facility and property management

Altius, the UK’s leading retail supply chain compliance specialist, have unveiled their latest report, Retail 2020: A future insight of trends that will affect facility and property management.

Global retail consultancy FITCH has perfectly described the retail industry, as we look towards 2020 and beyond. “Retail will change more in the next five years than the last 50. This change is not just driven by economic, product or industry trends. Rather, tomorrow’s store is being shaped by new behaviours, needs and demands of shoppers.”

Forecasted retail trends

In this guide, we have compiled forecasted retail trends from global resources – and we look at how these trends are set to impact the procurement and supply chain industries, and the extra demands they will ultimately have on facility and property management in the future.

To get ahead, and stay ahead of the competition, we recommend all retail FMs and members of your procurement and supply chain team reads this guide.

Set for fundamental changes

Speaking on the launch of the Retail 2020 report, Chief Operating Officer Len Simmons said, “It is very clear that the retail industry is set for fundamental changes over the next three years, and facility and property managers need to be in a position to respond to these ever-changing demands.”

“Our existing relationships with some of the biggest retail brands means we’re in a great position to advise other retail FMs on how trends in 2020 are set to impact on finding new and qualified suppliers and ensure supply chain compliance.”

[INFOGRAPHIC] Modern slavery… and the struggle of supply chain professionals to ensure supplier compliance

Modern slavery and the struggle of supply chain professionals to ensure supplier compliance

We surveyed supply chain and procurement professionals across the UK, to shed light on the impact the Modern Slavery Act has had since its introduction in 2015. Here’s some of the key findings from the Modern Day Slavery Survey Report.

Share this infographic

Do you want to add this infographic to your website or blog? Simply copy the embed code from the below box, then paste it into your web editor tool.

Contractor’s guide to managing modern day slavery in your supply chain

The Modern Slavery Act, introduced into legislation in 2015, has made businesses think about their procurement process in more detail than ever before.

The role of procurement has now changed too, and professionals play an integral role in sourcing suppliers that follow the law and best practice techniques – creating a more transparent supply chain for their business.

As the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) describes, “While modern slavery is illegal in every country in the world, it still occurs in every country in the world.” With legislative risk facing businesses that fall foul of modern slavery, it is vital that procurement professionals fully understand, implement and manage the risk of modern slavery in their supply chain.

The procurement cycle

To help professionals, CIPS have reinforced their seven stages of the procurement cycle to negate the risk of modern slavery.

1 – Identify vulnerabilities

You should be looking for supply chain vulnerabilities already. These may be broken down into geographical, sector, or product areas – whatever you believe has the greater risk of employing people under what is deemed modern slavery.

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the modern slavery compliance challenge across their supply chain >

To prioritise risk, you should assess your current and prospective purchases against a number of factors, including level of spend, level of business critical risk, and likelihood of non-compliance against company ethical objectives and the law.

2 – Understanding and dealing with risk

Suppliers deemed to be high risk should develop a map of their supply chains. Using various products on the market to map out your supply chain, you should use this research to understand where the labour-intensive part of your supply chain exists – and ensure good human resource management occurs to negate the risk of modern slavery.

This approach gives greater visibility, beyond the three tiers of your supply chain that you may have already identified. Once identified, contractors need to draft, or review, your social and environmental criteria for appointing suppliers.

3 – Supplier engagement and procurement plan

Supplier engagement should be used in step three to discover the working standards, best practice, and identified issues of each individual supplier. Once this is done, you should be developing a procurement plan to sustain the quality and price of the product or service you require – without compromising on social and environmental standards.

Buyers should be developing procurement plans with time frames, evaluation criteria, and records of who is responsible internally – to help achieve an ongoing procurement plan that ensures new suppliers meet the new procurement criteria.

4 – Evaluating and shortlisting of suppliers

Implementing new policies, rules, or procurement processes is always the hardest part for procurement professionals, however this is the only way to ensure full compliance throughout your supply chain.

During this stage, buyers must reinforce to existing suppliers the importance of new environmental and social performance, and should use this performance to assess their contractors in order to meet ethical standards. This should be followed by updating all relevant documents to include questions on new standards – such as on your pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), invitation to tender (ITT) and request for quotation (RFQ).

5 – Evaluation of quotes or offers

Once PQQs have been submitted, you as the buyer, need to research into any inter-related elements that can negate the chances of modern slavery happening, and improve the overall relationship with your suppliers.

Work should be done to reach out to local organisations, trade unions, and other worker’s groups to identify any potential issues that may occur. This research should also support the written claims of the suppliers surrounding their social and environmental practices. If this is shown to be false on inspection, you know it is time to either help them improve, or to look for other suppliers.

6 – Contract and performance management

Prices, deadlines, quality, and terms of payment are all standard contractual agreements, but ethical and sustainable clauses must now be added to ensure compliance with modern slavery, as well as other social procedures.

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the modern slavery compliance challenge across their supply chain >

Procurement professionals should go above and beyond to ensure suppliers and contractors thoroughly understand the contents of the contract, obtain any feedback, and more importantly, ensure they stick to the agreed key performance indicators (KPIs).

7 – Update ethical procurement programme

After adding new clauses in supplier contracts regarding ethical standards, you should be reviewing these as part of your KPI supplier programme on a regular basis. This approach allows you to ensure compliance to agreed contracts and policies, but also allows you to gain a snapshot of which suppliers are struggling to maintain your standards.

Many organisations are now moving towards, what is being called, ‘beyond auditing’ to ensure suppliers are focussed on what is needed to help improve in relation to the new legislation. Training and awareness-raising are typical examples of what you should be doing to aid the education of your suppliers.

Fully integrated modern slavery process

The scrutiny that organisations are now facing to improve their supply chain’s conformance to modern slavery is at an all-time high. It is up to procurement professionals, such as yourself, to not only create the ethical policies required for your suppliers to abide by, but also to fundamentally implement this into your processes.

From PQQs to internal KPI monitoring documents, you should integrate ethical standards, such as modern slavery policies, into your processes in order to ensure the uppermost compliance throughout your supply chain.

New Modern Day Slavery Report released

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the compliance challenge across their supply chain by downloading the inaugural Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report. Featuring key findings from procurement and supply chain professionals such as poor internal policies, failing supply chains, and best practice advice to assure long-term slavery compliance.

Download the modern slavery report 2017

Key findings from the Modern Slavery Act Survey 2017

A nationwide survey that asked procurement and supply chain experts their thoughts on the impact that the Modern Slavery Act has had on their job, has found some interesting insights.

The survey, which was shared with experts and professionals in 2016, has been compiled into a free downloadable report. Here in this presentation, we outline just some of the key findings that can be explored further in the report.

Key findings from the Modern Slavery Act

What other findings did the survey find?

Download your copy of The Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report and discover what other findings procurement, health and safety and contract managers will be interested in learning about compliance to modern slavery.

The report, which has been endorsed by member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Modern Slavery Bill, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, is available to download for free.

Download the modern slavery report 2017

Survey shows businesses need to do more to break shackles of modern slavery

The Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report, published by compliance specialist Altius, shows that UK businesses need to do more to tackle modern slavery across their supply chains.

The survey of supply chain, procurement and health & safety managers finds that there is a strong desire to break the shackles of modern slavery. But 82 per cent of respondents said that they wanted to see members of the senior leadership team do more to ensure compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.

Effective leadership missing

While 80 per cent of the survey respondents said that their organisations had a Modern Slavery policy, only 60 per cent thought that this had been communicated clearly through the business. And 45 per cent said that they couldn’t see any evidence that the Modern Slavery Act was being adhered to.

The survey also raises questions about effective leadership. One in three of those surveyed admitted that they did not know who had ultimate responsibility for modern slavery compliance in the business.

Only 38% of survey respondents had processes in place to ensure Modern Slavery compliance within their supply chain, with only one-in-four having re-assessed their suppliers since the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015.

Actions and implementation required

Len Simmons, Chief Operating Officer for Altius, said: “Too often, the responsibility for compliance falls awkwardly between procurement, health and safety and contract managers. It is vital that these parties come together, with support from their senior colleagues, to share the collective responsibility of understanding and implementing effective policies to prevent slave labour.

“Simply having a code of conduct or ethical procurement policy isn’t enough. Businesses need to act on and implement their policies to ensure both they and their suppliers are compliant. The same applies to procurement processes – modern slavery compliance should be ingrained in every audit and questionnaire completed by suppliers.”

Support from the Select Committee

In a foreword to the report, The Bishop of Derby, The Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, who is a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee that drafted the Modern Slavery Bill, writes: Modern Slavery legislation recognises the important role of businesses – to ensure that they are not using slave labour, especially in supply chains and through agency workers.”

“This report is a model of how businesses can be encouraged to recognise the realities of the challenge of Modern Slavery, and to identify areas for improvement and the development of good practice.”

A ‘hard slog’ to full compliance

Dr. Dave Walsh, Associate Professor at the University of Derby, which collaborated with Altius to produce the report, claims that private sector companies face a ‘hard slog’ to full compliance, not least because modern slavery can be so difficult to identify.

He said: “In contrast to historical slavery systems characterised by whips, chains, and physical imprisonment, modern day slavery is less overt, typically with no obvious visible signs of restraint.”

Altius provides compliance software and management services to help organisations identify and eliminate the risk of  modern slavery across their supply chains. To download a full copy of the Modern Day Slavery Survey Report, Click Here.

Top law school reveals the role of business in dealing with Modern Slavery

Law school on Modern Slavery

Named as a top 20 law school by The Guardian, Derby Law School continues to develop responses to modern slavery, including working with the Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the GLA (Gangmasters Licensing Authority) to help combat labour exploitation and upskill the Government’s workforce in understanding Modern Slavery.

Dr. Dave Walsh, Associate Professor in the Psychology of Criminal Investigation and Criminal Justice Law School, gave his view on the role of business in tackling modern slavery in the recently published Modern Day Slavery Report 2017.

“Modern day slavery is akin to the state-sanctioned chattel slavery common in imperial Rome and America in the 1600s. However, in contrast to historical slavery systems characterized by whips, chains, and physical imprisonment, modern day slavery is less overt, typically with no obvious visible signs of restraint.

Over the past few years, prompted in part by the Modern Slavery Act, there have been a number of high profile calls for the UK public to ‘open their eyes and ears’ and assist the authorities in combatting modern slavery.

For businesses, this means that simple auditing of internal and external supply chain processes to ensure modern slavery compliance, is harder than ever before.

What now faces the private sector is a hard slog towards full compliance, but how business confronts the full extent of the challenge remains to
be seen.

The University of Derby are responding to these challenges by equipping businesses with the skills to probe labour suppliers through an approved training course, as well as regular seminars to facilitate a better information exchange.

It is activities such as these, alongside this report, that will reflect meaningful engagement by businesses to help fight modern slavery, and avoid their becoming unwitting partners in the trade.”

More on modern slavery

The introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015 has made UK businesses sit up and take notice of their supply chain more than they have ever done before. Following an extensive research period, the Modern Day Slavery Report compiles the key findings as highlighted by survey respondents.

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the compliance challenge across their supply chains by downloading your free copy of the report today.

Download the modern slavery report 2017

5 actions firms must take to be compliant to the Modern Slavery Act in 2017

A 2016 survey carried out by the Altius team to question procurement professionals around the UK has thrown up some interesting correlations regarding modern slavery.

Despite the majority of respondents being aware of the importance of modern slavery and having a policy in place already, procurement professionals admitted that more needed to be done by their firm to ensure compliance going forward into 2017.

Here’s a look at just five of the key areas that respondents flagged as problem areas, and what actions can be done to ensure they are fully compliant in the future.

1 – Get proof of compliance

45% cannot see evidence of the new modern slavery act policy being adhered to

While 4 in 5 respondents said their company now has a Modern Slavery Act policy, 45% said that they cannot see evidence of the new policy being adhered to. This includes suppliers and contractors within the respondent’s supply chain.

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the modern slavery compliance challenge across their supply chain >

For firms, simply having a modern slavery policy isn’t enough, especially for the procurement teams. Evidence needs to be gathered as part of supplier assessments and re-assessments to ensure they can show proof of compliance. For example, suppliers could show paperwork relating to the internal procedures they have in place whereby employees can flag up slavery concerns through a whistle-blowing scheme.

2 – More frequent supplier re-assessments

23% have re-assessed their supply chain since the introduction of the modern slavery act in 2015

Less than 25% of respondents said that they have re-assessed their existing suppliers since the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015 – almost two years ago. On top of this, 55% admitted that they do not had any modern slavery-specific questions on their supplier assessment questionnaires.

Best practice of supply chain compliance states that existing suppliers should be re-assessed every 12 months at least. While the task can become a burden to procurement and health and safety professionals in-house, business can change considerably in a year, and firms must be aware of these changes in order to be sure their supply chain is fully compliant.

3 – Push for senior team support

82% want their senior team to do more to enforce compliance to modern slavery throughout the business

A sore point for survey respondents was the lack of support from their senior team in help dealing with the modern slavery legislation changes. 82% stated they wanted their senior team to do more to enforce compliance throughout the organisation, while only 47% agreed that their senior team fully understood what is deemed ‘illegal’ under the Act.

While procurement teams and health and safety professionals have the ability to manage the risks associated with non-compliance throughout the business and supply chain, ultimately, any blame for falling foul of the new legislation is at the door of the senior management team. Efforts should be made by procurement teams to flag the severe importance of compliance, as well as educating the Managing Director, etc. on what the legislation actually means.

4 – Pressurise suppliers for quicker responses

47% were concerned at how long it takes vendors to prove compliance

When asked what percentage of their suppliers they believed were compliant to the Act, survey respondents averaged just 30% of their supply chain. One of the main reasons for this result may be down to the amount of time it takes for suppliers to confirm their compliance, thus making procurement teams wary.

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the modern slavery compliance challenge across their supply chain >

47% of respondents confirmed this by saying they were concerned with how long it takes for suppliers to prove compliance. In this situation, procurement teams should pressurise their suppliers more for quicker responses. Automated compliance systems, for example, can help obtain the relevant documents without procurement needing to chase regularly for information.

5 – Updating internal processes

29% see auditing their own procurement processes as their top challenge in 2017

One of the top challenges respondents said they’d face in 2017 is ‘identifying potential risks in their supply chain’. 41% believe there are hidden risks, however, the same respondents believed that their own procurement processes needs auditing for best practice.

It is clear from these two results that procurement teams need to establish whether their process and documentation is doing enough to collect the information required to pass suppliers as being compliant to modern slavery. Firms should look especially at their re-assessment questionnaires to begin, as well as their on-boarding documents for new suppliers such as PQQs (pre-qualification questionnaires).

What other actions must firms take?

Download your copy of The Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report and discover what other areas procurement, health and safety and contract managers believe need action to be compliant to modern slavery.

The report, which has been endorsed by member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Modern Slavery Bill, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, is available to download for free.

Download the modern slavery report 2017

[Free Download] Altius launch Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report

The Modern Day Slavery Survey

Altius are pleased to launch the inaugural Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report, following the nationwide survey completed by the team last year.

Modern slavery has become a hot topic for procurement and supply chain professionals as firms seek to gain compliance to the new legislation launched by the UK Government back in 2015. As a result, Altius asked for the anonymous opinions of professionals throughout the UK on the impact the new legislation has had.

The report, which has been made available as a free download, shows the fascinating correlations procurement teams are facing throughout different sized companies and sectors they operate in. These correlations include:

The report also contains the survey respondent’s ‘Top 5 Challenges of 2017’ and what they believe the future of modern slavery compliance will look like.

Download The Modern Day Slavery Survey Report

Modern Slavery expert’s view

The report has been compiled with leading modern slavery experts, including educational establishment, Derby Law School, and the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern. Speaking on the importance of this report, Dr Redfern, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee who drafted the Modern Slavery Bill, said:

“This report is a model of how businesses can be encouraged to recognise the realities of the challenge of Modern Slavery, and to identify areas for improvement and the development of good practice. Such responses will mitigate risk, improve standards and help to eliminate the presence of slavery in supply chains.”

Download the modern slavery report 2017

Creating an ethical procurement policy in light of the Modern Slavery Act update

The introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015 has made UK companies sit up and take notice of their supply chain more than they ever have done before. Companies have been quick to assess their supply chain, but also to ensure that they are adhering to the updated legislation with a code of conduct and an ethical procurement policy.

An ethical procurement policy must make it clear to suppliers that compliance with requirements related to the Code of Conduct is mandatory. This requirement applies not only to existing suppliers but also to supplier selection and retention. This policy will be useful to set out what the process will be when breaches are found.

A report by modern slavery charity, Walk Free Foundation, alongside the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), sheds light on the fundamentals that any ethical procurement policy should include. For companies who have yet to create a modern slavery policy, or those who would like to check the validity of their existing policy, here’s the four key areas the policy should include.

Build in systems of ‘sanctions and rewards’

Through purchasing decisions, companies have the capacity to improve the working conditions of those employed by exploitative suppliers whilst rewarding those who treat workers with dignity and respect. The report, Tackling Modern Slavery In Supply Chains, says:

“Many buyers are developing programs that reward suppliers who demonstrate particularly strong social performance. The top suppliers get preferred supplier status and are given priority for new business.”

For suppliers that fail to adhere to the policy, or provide misleading statements, punitive measures could be added to your company policy. Training and guidance should be used to help suppliers and contractors understand modern slavery – only as a last resort should you cease to work with a supplier due to their human right violations.

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the modern slavery compliance challenge across their supply chain >

Contracts and sourcing

An ethical procurement policy needs implementing, and not just putting on the shelf to collect dust. The key standards you’ve highlighted in your policy should flow through all aspects of your company’s supplier sourcing and management.

These key standards, according to the report by Walk Free Foundation, are:

With regard to sourcing processes, your Code of Conduct requirements should also be built into the Request for Tender (RFT), pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) and other application documents you use.

It is important to ensure that these key standards then flow through all aspects of supplier sourcing and management including; your supplier contracts, tender and purchasing processes, auditing and compliance actions, and performance standards for procurement staff too.

Supplier performance targets

Another important part of a procurement policy is to set job performance objectives and targets for procurement professionals in your business, with modern day slavery in mind.

Traditional procurement focused on purchase price, safety and technical capabilities and procurement professionals are evaluated based on acquiring the best product for the best price. As the report by Walk Free Foundation says, this focus needs to change.

“Today, procurement professionals have a critical role to play in preventing modern slavery in supply chains by selecting new suppliers that have properly enforced policies and procedures against slavery and forced labour.”

By keeping ethical considerations at the forefront of purchasing decisions, procurement professionals can promote workers’ rights and decent working conditions. It is imperative that professionals are evaluated based on the successful acquisition of goods and services that are produced using ethical social criteria, as well as the traditional objectives around price and quality.

Communicating the policy effectively

Once your ethical procurement policy framework is in place, this should become the foundation on which the company builds strategy for engagement with internal and external stakeholders and suppliers.

Sharing and communicating the Code of Conduct on forced labour and modern slavery is integral to its implementation. Staff across the company will need to familiarise themselves with its vision and principles.

Of course, the most important staff members that need to fully understand the policy is your procurement and supplier management staff. But your communication shouldn’t be limited to inside the business. As the report suggests, your communication strategy should:

Gaining procurement clarity

Rightly so, the government’s intervention on modern day slavery has meant that the need for clarity in your supply chain has never been so important. While creating an ethical procurement policy isn’t a taxing task, implementing and getting it understood by procurement staff and suppliers is the hardest part.

New Modern Day Slavery Report released

Discover how UK businesses are rising to the compliance challenge across their supply chain by downloading the inaugural Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report. Featuring key findings from procurement and supply chain professionals such as poor internal policies, failing supply chains, and best practice advice to assure long-term slavery compliance.

What's your supply chain score?

Recent Posts