How To Audit Your Supply Chain In 2022November 2021
How we do business has changed forever. Consumers within a B2C and a B2B environment expect total transparency, when outsourcing, or hiring a subcontract manufacturer. This conscious custom has meant that businesses now compete for work in a different way and ethical supply chains are all the rage. If your organisation cares about the companies that fit into its supply chain, then auditing is vital to its success.
But, how do you audit a supply chain in 2022? With social distancing, remote working and Zoom class, there is something almost unprofessional about just popping in to do a spot check in times like these. However, there are things that can be done to make sure that every supplier is performing at the highest level.
Code Of Conduct
Depending on the industry that you operate in, your suppliers may need to have certain qualifications and certifications to be able to work with you. If this isn't mandatory, consider what accreditations they could gain to be able to prove their outstanding processes, ethical standards and high-quality deliverables. Make sure that your entire supply chain meets the required laws and regulations to be able to do what they do by hosting regular meetings and asking for proof of certification.
These stringent measures should make sure that you are aware of the organisational structure of all of your suppliers, you are able to verify clients and workers who you will be directly involved with and you are able to halt the relationship, should any of your criteria not be met.
In an ever-evolving world of technology, virtual auditing is soon becoming an up-and-coming method in 2021 and 2022 for auditors. Video calling software enables auditors and companies to work together to complete an audit without the need for in-person meetings. Softwares allow these audits to be recorded and documented from start to finish.
This method allows companies to show the auditor the necessary facilities and equipment that needs to be inspected in order to pass. This can also help to decrease on-site disruption and reduce auditing costs whilst still being completed in a timely manner, if not faster. As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to lessen we can guarantee virtual auditing will be here to stay.
In-Person Site Visits
Sometimes, not all audits can be conducted virtually or without the need to meet in person. Luckily, there are measures and precautions that can be put in place to plan an on-site audit of a supply chain that is safe and non-invasive.
Precautions include wearing masks, gloves, and the correct PPE when appropriate. It is also important that all persons on-site feel well and, if needed, take the correct tests beforehand to ensure they aren’t at risk of passing anything on. Following other measures such as social distancing, hand sanitising and cleaning precautions help to minimise the risks involved with on-site visits in 2022. Although these may not always be ideal in current circumstances, there are measures that can be placed to allow safe auditing on supply chains whilst in the workplace.
One final way that you can audit your supply chain in 2021 is through evaluating productivity data and making sure that your suppliers are hitting targets consistently. Data such as delivery times, productivity and carbon output helps auditors see that you are performing as expected. Not hitting these targets indicate that the business may not be in line with your code of conduct and need assistance to reach those targets.
Measuring this data is a great way to audit a supply chain in 2022 as performance is regularly monitored alongside progress and risks that may arise from these audits. There is lots of digital software available that allows these statistics to be tracked and updated as accurately as possible without the need for an in-person visit.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that we audit supply chains for the foreseeable future. Auditors are able to adapt to the current climate and provide businesses with safe, effective auditing solutions that ensure processes are being carried out properly.
We have consistently reviewed our processes throughout the pandemic and continue to monitor and update these to align with current standings. We offer flexible approaches catered to each business we work with. To find out more information, contact us today.