Saturday, 1 February 2014

Such a shame responsible supply chains can only pull

I'm sure you all remember the rhetoric which followed last year's clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh. The Minister was going to put the world to right by shaking his finger at the retail sector and the retailers were quick to make promises of compensation. Sadly a year later, the hot air has cooled and little was delivered on the commitments. It appears Primark, the great villain at the time, are one of a small group of retailers who actually delivered on their promises.

However, it also seems that supply chain managers who pride themselves on pulling goods through the supply chain seem unable to make sure that the compensation promised is pushed back down the supply chain to those who desperately need to receive it. Donations have been ad hoc and there are a lack of records of who received the compensation and systems in place to support distribution.

Wouldn't we be amazed if retail buyers were unable to trace their supply chain back and satisfy themselves of the flow of goods from the factory floor to the shop shelves. Wouldn't we also be amazed if they couldn't trace payment of invoices and receipt of credit notes through the supply chain. Wouldn't we be amazed if supply chain managers didn't have contract management and performance management systems in place to ensure quality and timeliness of delivery. That being the case, can there be any excuse for not making sure the victims of the Rana Plaza factory disaster are still waiting and paying the price?  

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