Safeguarding your Brand through Better Supply Chain Visibility

Asian fork lift truck driver discussing checklist with foreman in warehouse

By Ben Wilde

Better supply chain visibility is what you need to safeguard your brand. Trends ranging from globalisation and social media to rising consumer demand for responsibly and sustainably produced goods have transformed the role of the supply chain. Your supply chain today is very much an extension of your brand – with the power to bolster or harm your reputation. Even the most celebrated brands are vulnerable.


Among many well-known brands, there have been cases of harsh working conditions in overseas factories, fires and other safety hazards that have injured or killed thousands of people, and environmental spills or lapses that have caused significant damage to habitats and communities.

Suppliers’ poor workplace conditions and flawed environmental practices can directly or indirectly impact even the strongest brands, which is why environmentally and socially responsible sourcing has become a priority.

Unfortunate headlines often underscore the limits to a traditional approach to supply chain management built solely on spot audits by third parties. With frequent audits, it’s not uncommon to reflect polished results within a limited time period instead of standard operating procedures adopted in everyday reality. What’s more, the factories themselves can be left out of the loop. They may not see the results of the questionnaires or audits to which they submit, leaving no opportunity for systemic improvement. In the wrong context, audits can be hoops to jump through instead of management tools for improvement.

Many brands are progressing toward a different kind of supplier partnership that goes beyond auditing and instead focusses on empowerment. These changes are leading to some remarkable bottom line benefits for all stakeholders – brands, supplier, workers and responsible consumers.

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About the Author

Ben Wilde is a Director at ADEC Innovations. A business and economics graduate with a decade’s worth of experience in the data and document management industry, Ben leads the design and delivery of technology solutions aimed towards managing large volumes of corporate responsibility and operations data.



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