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Five Tips towards Sustainable Sourcing

by: Sarah Joson

Monday, March 5, 2012 | Outsourcing News |

Global Security Software

The industry leaders of today’s world are noticeably incorporating more and more factors to their goals and initiatives to help create a positive image. One of which is choosing suppliers that can help a company grow while having a sustainable and economical procurement practice. In fact, many companies are spending a lot of money in their ad campaigns just to enlighten consumers that they are actually making great efforts in becoming more environmentally conscious.

However, experts believe that if suppliers do something unacceptable towards the environment or the community, it can impose adverse effects on the image of their clients. They should somehow adhere to the sustainability regulations of their clients to create substantial partnerships.

Shahid Bhatty, Principal Consultant at procurement outsourcing firm Information Services Group (ISG) shares via TPI.net five tips that can help companies create a convincing image of having sustainable and green procurement processes.  

1. Walk your talk and be a role model for the entire organization. Having a comprehensive sustainability plan that resounds throughout the entire organization, even with the suppliers, can definitely empower a business. If possible, executives can put their mark on advertisements and other publications to assure customers that the goals of the company are legitimate and that the upper management strongly believes in the disposition of the company towards becoming green.

2. Provide sustainability-related guidelines that are set in stone for key suppliers. Doing this not only sets a clear agreement between parties but can also be used as gauge to see if the suppliers are up to par.

3. Use sustainability as a benchmark when looking for suppliers. If a business executive is sticking with his/her plan in shifting the entire operation to becoming more sustainable, then of course he/she would have to make sure that the suppliers have the same green goals.  If they don’t, are the suppliers willing to modify their offerings to comply with your company’s goals? Performing due diligence can help alleviate stress in selecting the right supplier and avoid the long bidding process. Also, requiring the suppliers to present a genuine certification can help companies to easily identify the credible ones.   

4. Clearly define the factors for Supplier Relationship Management (SRM).  For sustainability-oriented partnerships, having clear metrics and a predetermined set of requirements can help business executives point out which functions the suppliers need to improve on, if they are qualified or not, or help executives identify if they have reached their targets.

5. Make sustainability part of governance frameworks. This is crucial when outsourcing core processes. Both parties should go for sustainable efforts that will be beneficial to their business relationship.

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