Organisation of responsible supply chain management

Here, you can get help to organise the work of responsible supply chain management as part of the company's day-to-day operations.

Allow senior management to take ownership

It is the management's responsibility that priority is given to responsible supply chain management.

Senior management should take ownership and communicate the level of ambition for responsible supply chain management activities to all employees. This will contribute to making responsible supply chain management an integrated part of the company’s business strategy, and to making the business benefits clear to the organisation.

It is also senior management's responsibility to allocate the resources needed for the work and to ensure that the company's incentive structure supports the intentions behind responsible supply chain management. If procurement staff are rewarded first and foremost for ensuring inexpensive or rapid deliveries, this can present a dilemma for them.

"Responsible supply chain management is a fixed item on the agenda at all Group management meetings, which means that I have the opportunity to spend 30 minutes talking about our progress and challenges. I don’t always use this opportunity, but it ensures that I can always put any dilemmas or conflicts on the agenda." 

Peter Kristensen, CSR & Environment Manager, DLH

Allocate tasks and responsibility

Responsibility for responsible supply chain management requires someone with a good overview of the company’s supply chain. 

It is a good idea to assign overall responsibility to an employee with an understanding of production conditions in the supply chain. This person may be the production manager or quality manager, or the purchasing manager. This employee's primary task is to establish processes for responsible supply chain management, designate the other employees to be involved directly in the work, and ensure that they are equipped for their tasks.

It can be an advantage to involve the employees that are already in contact with suppliers, so that you build the CSR dialogue on existing relations with suppliers. This will typically be procurement staff, and it is a good idea to involve them at an early stage, so that they can contribute to formulating expectations of suppliers' CSR programmes and establishing supply chain management processes. This will equip them to perform assessments of the suppliers' CSR programmes and to engage in dialogue on CSR improvements.

Other employees that work on your own CSR programme can be resources that both procurement staff and suppliers can consult as part of the work of improving CSR, such as employees that work with environmental issues, health and safety, product development, HR, etc.

Use the company's existing systems

It can be an advantage to expand and adapt your existing management systems

If your company has established procedures for the systematic evaluation of suppliers' quality, prices and delivery times, etc., it will often be a good idea to incorporate processes for responsible supply chain management in the existing system.

In this way, you can integrate responsible supply chain management into your day-to-day operations, and you will eliminate the need for two different supplier evaluation systems. This will also ensure that your responsible supply chain management does not conflict with your procurement practices, and that it promotes dialogue and cooperation with suppliers to live up to your CSR requirements.

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