Growing Pains - Trends in Supply Chain Management

April 28, 2016

As organisations grow and evolve, supply chains become more complex webs of direct and indirect suppliers.

This creates an ever increasing risk on an organisation's ability to satisfy its customers in terms of quality, safety, integrity, and continuity. Not to mention, meeting customer demand for a higher level of ethical standards both in manufacturing and sourcing.

Whilst supplier contracts are in place to assist in managing liability, the responsibility for supplier risk can shift, but not the accountability.


Ensuring effective supplier compliance management is more crucial than ever as your brand is often in the hands of your suppliers. This can be achieved through an active monitoring process to manage your supplier's compliance to your requirements and best practice - in line with specific criteria laid down by you.

With international standards moving to a less prescriptive stance, such as the latest release of ISO 9001:2015, organisations have opted for developing their own vendor assurance programs to supplement these internationally recognised standards with criteria which are more aligned to their particular products and specification.

This practice, most commonly found in the food retail sector, ensures explicitly defined business risks are being managed. 

What we've seen is that many organisations find that the greatest challenge in supply chain management is knowing all the supply chain risks and where they arise, and then determining the most appropriate priorities and control methods.

Product safety and quality of the supply chain are often of greatest concern to organisations, although sustainability practices and ethical workplaces are also clearly identified as areas of importance.

It's envisaged however, that whilst innovation challenges are often not at the top of the list, this area should grow as organisations seek to extract value out of the supply chain and move towards more collaborative and transparent supplier relationships.

Watch our videos on supplier compliance management to see how our unique SAIGOL™ web-based software solution can help to protect your organisation's brand from supplier approval to product approval and managing complaints.

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