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Tag: news

Supplier Assessment Services acquire Altius VA Ltd

Supplier Assessment Services, a leading provider of technology-enabled third-party pre-qualification and health and safety accreditation services in the UK, today announced its acquisition of Derby-based supply chain performance specialists, Altius VA Ltd.

Supplier Assessment Services, which was recently purchased by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, provides – through its Constructionline and Acclaim brands – specialist governance, risk and compliance services to both public and private sector customers in the construction, facilities management, education and utilities industries.

Altius’ products and services perfectly complement those of Supplier Assessment Services bolstering the company’s existing range of products and services with new supplier onboarding and client-specific compliance software, as well as expanding the international markets in which it operates.  Following the launch of its Exigo software platform, Altius has seen rapid growth in retail, food and beverage and real estate markets, as well as the recent win of the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification (RISQS) tender.

 

Gary Plant, Chief Executive Officer of Altius VA Ltd, commented:

“We are excited to become part of the Supplier Assessment Services group. Together, our organisations have solutions that will reduce risk, cut costs and add significant value to any client’s business, large or small.”

 

John Edmunds, Chief Executive Officer of Supplier Assessment Services, commented:

“We see a significant growth opportunity for supply chain services outside our core specialism in the construction sector and we are convinced that Altius will enable us to realise that opportunity more quickly with an already established presence in rail, retail and property management. Furthermore, Altius’ platform flexibility, client customisation and onboarding services are the perfect fit for our own pre-qualification and validation services, supporting our vision to become the most connected and progressive provider of governance, risk and compliance services to all our customers, enabling our clients to be more competitive.”

 

Altius roll out Incident Reporting tool

Perfect for more complex and bespoke incident reporting Altius’s new Health & Safety tool rivals existing ‘out of the box’ systems. Used by leading retailer Debenhams the tool is fully configurable offering a truly flexible approach to reporting and tracking incidents.

 Product Info

In addition to the vast range of features listed above, there is also the option for additional categories of incident. Currently available are: Arrest  – where an arrest has been made in store, this covers all the details of the arrest, including police incident numbers and, if there is also an injury, links to the accident report to monitor its progress. Food Services – which includes illness from any items bought in store or sold by an in-store cafe. It can also include any foreign objects found in prepared food. Other categories will continue to be released.

What Debenhams say:

“Feedback on the system was nothing but positive comments. The stores love the system and find it easy to use, and it’s no exaggeration to say words like “brilliant” and “fantastic” were flowing freely”.

Read the full case study for Debenhams here….. or download the full case study pack below.

To find out more about the exciting release, email the Altius team on enquiries@altiusva.com.

See how Altius’ Exigo software is favoured by M&S

With 1025 UK and 454 international stores over 50 territories, M&S is one of the UK’s leading retailers…

Their commitment to “making every moment special” for customers means they are always keen to implement the latest sourcing and compliance technologies to ensure consistent high-quality service.

Background

Back in 2016 Altius were contacted by M&S who expressed interest in the Altius software platform. By the end of that same year, Altius were commissioned to implement Exigo into M&S.

Through implementation, Altius worked closely with 4 different departments within M&S to create appropriate questions for their specific working areas, such as Project Delivery, Retail, Equipment Supply Base and Facility Management.

From this, Altius adapted the Exigo platform to include suitable service categories that matched the M&S supply chain products and services. This was achieved through the creation of a question matrix which sits in the background of the system, allowing the appropriate questions to be asked of each supplier, based solely on the product/service they offer to M&S.

The Result

As it stands, M&S currently have 243 suppliers on their Exigo system who average around 90% compliance daily, hugely supported by M&S’ choice to outsource assessments back to the Altius assessment team who work to a consistent 2-day turnaround on every assessment. This is a vast improvement from the previous M&S partner who only achieved 4% compliance with a handful of suppliers that joined the scheme.

“We were elated when Marks and Spencer got in touch with us. Our relationship has gone from strength to strength and we continue to work closely with M&S to adapt their Exigo platform to their changing business needs” Len Simmons, COO Altius VA Ltd

“The Exigo platform offered by Altius ensures our supply base are competent and fit-for-purpose; this married with the platform’s ability to evolve with ever changing business needs is integral to achieving the fast pace of change required to compete in the rapidly shifting retail environment. Altius are the essential cog in maintaining legislative governance and compliance across an expansive M&S supply chain.” 

Mitchell Goosen, Head of Programme Office, Property at Marks and Spencer

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

Free guide shows how to implement supply chain best practices

Supplier assessment and assurance specialist Altius has published a free guide to supply chain compliance to help organisations of all sizes focus on performance rather than problems when managing suppliers.

The guide covers strategies to address common problems, such as difficulties in sourcing good quality contractors and  managing supplier lists and supplier information; dealing with poor or variable performance or incidents on site; recognising and classifying levels of risk, and ensuring the right suppliers are used for the right contracts.

A three-step compliance process of: capability assessment, management and monitoring is explained.  This begins with gathering, verifying and authorising relevant supplier information and integrating it into procurement and ordering systems for full visibility.

The next step of ‘management’ is to set clear policies and rules, formalise contracts and specifications and set controls and restrains – so that suppliers are clear of what is expected and nothing is left to chance.

The final ‘monitoring’ stage involves measuring performance against key performance indicators, spot checks on behaviour, and  targeted auditing of areas that need improvement or carry risk – to assess that everything is working

Gary Plant, Managing Director of Altius, said: ” Effective supply chains offer rich rewards of lower costs, greater efficiency, innovation and improved quality, but they can also bring liability in the form of delays, problems, waste, cost and reputational damage.”

“By following the three core principles detailed in our guide and using smart technology and processes, organisations can minimise risk and gain better visibility of their  suppliers. This means they can then focus on developing, rather than defending their supply chain.”

Download the ‘Introduction to supply Chain Compliance Best Practice’ here

Best practice guide to supply chain compliance

Bishop of Derby supports launch of Altius Modern Slavery Report

The Bishop of Derby, The Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, is a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee who published the report and subsequent draft Modern Slavery Bill. Following the launch of the Altius Modern Day Slavery Report, The Reverend kindly offered a foreword for the Report:

“Modern Slavery is alive and expanding. In times of tight margins, extreme poverty, routes for migration and political/religious instability, there are many vulnerable people who are easily exploited. The result is forced labour, sex slavery, organised begging, forced marriage and a trade in organs.

Modern Slavery is the second most profitable crime in the world, after drugs. It operates through highly successful business models. As so many of our brothers and sisters are brutalised and oppressed in these ways, there are a number of key responses. One is that of legislation and combatting crime. The United Kingdom passed important legislation in 2015 to enable response.

The legislation also recognised the important role of businesses – to ensure that they are not using slave labour, especially in supply chains and through agency workers. As public awareness and horror increases, investors and consumers are becoming more concerned that the businesses they support are operating good practices.

Further, criminal business takes a huge share out of the market and this needs to be isolated and stopped.

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.

I commend this project warmly.”

Report – what’s inside?

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 Survey Report compiles the key findings as highlighted by survey respondents. Download your copy of the report today.

Download the modern slavery report 2017

How to manage supply chain cyber security risk affordably

According to a Manpower survey, demand for specialist cyber workers has increased four-fold over the past year, with top experts being paid more than £10,000 a day.

In response to the cyber security issues in the industry, supply chain compliance expert Altius has launched a cyber security software package for those many businesses whose payroll doesn’t stretch to employing £10,000 per day experts.

Altius Exigo

The Altius Exigo software, with licenses available from £167 per month, is a low cost solution for addressing compliance across supplier networks. It gives organisations the option to configure their own compliance framework, either by adapting existing templates and processes or creating new ones using built-in tools.

Exigo has been successfully piloted by global creative agency Leo Burnett to improve management of information security and data privacy across its complex and large supply chain. This is enabling the  world-leading advertising and marketing services agency to reduce risk, ensure compliance and automate management reporting.

Cyber security

“The eye-watering pay packets of cyber security experts demonstrates the demand for specialist support from nervous businesses, particularly in the wake of recent attacks on organisations such as Sony and TalkTalk,” said Len Simmons, Technical Director for Altius.

Discover the all-in-one contractor management software >

He continued “It is essential that businesses check IT security and data compliance among their suppliers – ensuring that these organisations have robust policies and measures in place to prevent common security failures. Organisations may have risk well managed within their own immediate business, but failings by their suppliers could expose them to data and security breaches that have the power to destroy reputations, business partnerships and profit margins.”

Erik Hart, VP Director, Information Security and Infrastructure Solutions at The Leo Burnett Group/Arc Worldwide, said: “Altius has helped us create efficiencies in the way we assess the security and compliance of our suppliers. By utilising the Altius portal we can create automated touch points with our suppliers, as well as generating reporting, as needed, on various data points.”

The software

The Exigo software is cloud-based, so requires no hardware or software installation. It can be integrated with existing enterprise systems and has an in-built audit trail to create full visibility of supplier compliance and enable instant retrieval of records and information. It also provides automated report generation and data exportation compatible with other business formats, such as Excel.

In addition to managing information and data security compliance, the software can be configured to assess performance and compliance for many other areas of business areas, such as health and safety, environmental bribery and corruption policies, CSR, quality, and environmental and employment law.

Altius software and compliance management services are used by many leading organisations as part of their risk management strategies. Clients include Morrisons, Selfridges, Airbus, Trust Inns, Punch Taverns, Arcadia Group, Superdrug, Bellrock, B&Q and Debenhams.

Do you like the sound of Altius Exigo? You can request a software demo here.

Exigo_Essentials_Free_Demo

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