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Collaboration & Technology Survey Analysis Pdf


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results from an industry survey on sharing and collaboration on supply chain compliance, asking for input from company and other industry CSR leaders on their current collaboration practices and future aspirations, as well as their perceptions on drivers and/or barriers to sharing & collaboration.

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Collaboration & Technology Survey Analysis Pdf

  1. 1. Collaboration and Technology: Analysis of Research June 2009 Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  2. 2. Background ► Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) received a grant from the Levi Strauss Foundation to conduct research on collaboration and the role technology can play in facilitating or furthering companies’ collaborative efforts on supply chain practices. ► FFC devised a survey inquiring about respondents’ perceptions on five key areas: § Current Collaboration Practices § Collaboration and Role of Technology § Drivers & Obstacles to Collaboration § Future Aspirations for Collaboration § Facilitating Collaboration Through Technology: Options for Consideration ► 101 people from companies (sector with highest response), NGOs, academics, governments, and auditing firms provided input into the survey results ► The FFC then solicited additional company input through individual interviews to clarify which tools will best aid companies in effective collaboration. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  3. 3. Overview ► Executive Summary: Key Findings & Conclusions ► Tools for Investment ► Current Collaboration & Obstacles to Collaboration ► Future Aspirations for Collaboration ► Appendix Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  4. 4. Overview ► Executive Summary: Key Findings & Conclusions ► Tools for Investment ► Current Collaboration & Obstacles to Collaboration ► Future Aspirations for Collaboration ► Appendix Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  5. 5. Key Findings: Collaboration in General ► Companies that do, highly value their collaboration efforts, particularly sharing audit results and their participation in Working Groups and MSIs. “In order to move beyond looking at CSR as risk management and privatized enforcement of labor laws, engagement is crucial” ► Companies say they want to collaborate more, but few invest in a large scale activity, and financial resources are not allocated to support prioritized collaboration areas. ► There is a high degree of interest in the development of one shared audit, using the same audit tool, but its adoption is unclear. “The holy grail would be the shared audit: many companies share one audit and the results are shared using technology” ► Companies increasingly want to see collaborative resources being used for remediation, not just identification of issues. ”We need to focus more on issue solving and remediation rather than issue finding. Resources should be spent in increasing factory capacity to resolve issues. “We need to shift the focus from auditing to training the factory to manage their own issues” ► The most challenging collaboration obstacles are attitudinal - lack of trust/confidence in other companies or auditors, unwillingness to share, concerns about free riders, inability/unwillingness to accept other’s efforts. “Many companies believe their program is better than any collaborated or shared system”; “I don’t trust that other brands are going to follow up in a meaningful way”; “It is unclear whether I can trust another company’s audits” Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  6. 6. Key Findings: Technology & Collaboration ► Technology is not a game changer. While it alone will not drive collaboration, it can be an enabler. Technology cannot overcome attitudinal obstacles to collaboration, but it can provide transparency into the activities of key actors in the community (factories, companies and auditors), and identify opportunities for joint activity. ► Investment and participation are generally low in collaborative technology tools and/or shared data platforms. ► Technology is currently, and can continue to be, helpful in efficiently collecting, storing, sharing and analyzing data, such as Corrective Action Plans/Remediation plans, auditing findings, monitoring protocols. Additional investment in trend reports on these data would be worthwhile as well. “Technology facilitates data sharing, especially across geography and time zones” ► Where technology can facilitate the identification and execution of joint audits, more resources can be spent on joint remediation. “With a shared audit, companies can then use resources to jointly work on remediation” ► Companies are looking to technology to improve efficiency of collaborative efforts. Technology must be user-friendly. It must increase efficiency, be web-based, integrated with Outlook and ensure accurate information sharing. “Technology has to make collaboration more efficient” ► “Shared data platform fatigue” was listed as an inhibitor. Many commented that the overabundance of shared data platforms is complicating collaboration. One shared data platform would alleviate duplication across platforms, remove silos of information, and avoid confusion and frustration on which system to use. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  7. 7. Key Findings: Technology Tools ► No one technology tool is a game changer. Companies expressed amazingly equal interest in all the tools, with a slight preference toward Factory Profiles. ► Launch of collaborative tools is made complicated by distinct needs. Companies want the tools to reflect their internal programs, which may be incompatible for collaboration. The tools will need to be flexible and configurable to support both needs. ► Companies want a tool to track information about their own vs. other auditing practices, with simple to use reports on activity, including dashboards on performance ► Communication tools and social networking tools (blogs, etc) would be useful to share best practices ► Universally companies want trend analysis from various sources of data. ► With few exceptions, companies felt technology tools should be free, or at a low cost with a pay-to-use model. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  8. 8. Conclusions for FFC • Technology can increase transparency: Technology cannot overcome the attitudinal issues and risk aversion that inhibit collaboration, but should increase transparency, which can help build trust, particularly toward auditors and other companies • Data Sharing is Pivotal to Collaboration: FFC should continue to provide and improve an effective and easy-to-use platform for data sharing of audit results, scores and remediation activities. Consider increasing the potential to share or participate in remedial activity. • Profiles will increase transparency and, therefore, build trust: FFC can increase transparency by pursuing the concept of Profiles, providing increased information about Factories and Companies, derived from all actors in the supply chain • Technology can facilitate future activity: FFC will facilitate future shared audits or trainings, such as Matchmaking and Shared Calendar • Shared Calendar is desirable: Everyone in the Social Compliance community can benefit from a centralized calendar outlining upcoming trainings, meetings, and conferences. This can be hosted on the FFC website. • Companies are unwilling/unable to pay for the tools: Foundation and/or other funding sources will need to be identified to develop tools. • Work with similar organizations: Industry needs the FFC to seek out other shared platform providers to assess partnership and collaborative program opportunities. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  9. 9. Overview ► Executive Summary: Key Findings & Conclusions ► Tools for Investment ► Current Collaboration & Obstacles to Collaboration ► Future Aspirations for Collaboration ► Appendix Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  10. 10. Profiles can help shed light on the performance and activity of factories, companies and auditors Factory Profiles - How has factory Company Profiles - Company performed? Measures could include: Philosophy, Strategies, Tools, such as: ► Number of Audits conducted ► Code of conduct ► Number / type of non-compliances found, ► Audit methodology pending remediation and remediated ► Compliance benchmarks ► Trainings and certifications received ► Threshold and zero-tolerance issues ► Management practices/Trainings ► Remedial strategies ► Progress over time ► Auditor preferences Auditor Profiles - Companies could increase their knowledge about auditors, including: ► Profile of audit firm (how many years in business, clients, etc.) ► Profile/CV of auditors (skills, knowledge, experience, etc.) ► Audit methodology ► Standard/Code used ► Reviews from clients (a la “Yelp”) Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  11. 11. Profiles - Input Received ► Factory profiles received almost universal support § The most popular idea was to release aggregated performance indicators on factories derived from various sources (within and outside FFC). § Keen interest also found in factories submitting data on their compliance history, goals, performance and progress. ► Auditor profiles seen with merit, but concerns on timing § This seen as a means of gaining visibility on other auditors used by companies, but not as an internal tool (many seemed to feel they have chosen their auditing firms with their own due diligence). § Many prefer to wait until the Social Auditor Standards project is finished. ► Company profiles least popular, but still seen as interesting. § Many felt company profile data already being captured and available, but were draw to the idea of filling out only one very comprehensive information form and having that readily available. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  12. 12. Matchmaking uses technology to identify opportunities and to create shared audits and remediation activity with like- minded companies Matchmaking of Factory Activity Company Matchmaking ► Companies would be matched with ► Using information from Company other brands planning an audit in the Profiles (see previous page), can match same facility in an upcoming window companies on the basis of: of time § Codes components ► Can include remedial activity in a facility for joint action § Zero tolerance & Threshold issues ► Alerts would also be sent re: § Compliance benchmarks identified opportunities for joint § Audit methodology activity (shared factories with no audits, or pending remediation § Involvement in Joint Codes, etc verification, etc.) (FLA, ETI, etc) ► Can specify if audit /remediation will § Preferred auditors be performed by company or by § Company Values external auditor ► Can be done in conjunction with audit ► Can also include past audits, for matching comparison purposes ► One, comprehensive form can be used ► May utilize a shared calendar as well, for all company inquiries to include activities such as trainings Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  13. 13. Matchmaking - Input Received ► Matchmaking on opportunities for joint activity in audits and remediation was seen as having best impact § Almost universal interest in automatic matching of other companies sourcing from their factories § Many sought system identification with alerts on audit opportunities (i.e., no audit from either company, planned audits in same time period) or remediation opportunities (i.e., CAPs past deadlines needing verification) § Support for audit subscriptions, where companies could post that it is seeking a joint audit, and system matches them with others seeking an audit as well § It was pointed out that coupling this function with a calendar function would make shared audits more efficient § Many felt this would be most helpful in additional areas of the supply chain (such as licensees, secondary suppliers, raw material suppliers) § Concerns raised on matchining on various aliases of suppliers, part. in China ► Company matchmaking was seen as too piece meal to work. § Most companies felt they should find the right collaboration partners themselves, based on company profiles, as well as other information they have on the entirety of the program. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  14. 14. Shared Calendar could allow a window into upcoming audits, remedial activity, and capacity building programs Audits Factory Activity ► Audit schedule across companies, also ► Master calendar to record, store and identifying overlap share across companies key factory activity, such as: ► Audit scheduling tool to request and deploy joint audits with external § Meetings auditing firms / auditors § Root-cause analysis § Trainings Social Compliance Activities ► Master, centralized calendar to record, store and share - and invite participation in - collaborative activity, such as: § Projects § Trainings § Conferences and Meetings Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  15. 15. Shared Calendar - Input Received ► Companies want a centralized calendar for shared audits, but fear maintenance § Support for an audit scheduling calendar that matches planned audits in “windows of time” for shared facilities (linked to factory matching program) § Many fear that it would be very high maintenance, and wonder how to maintain an external audit scheduling calendar - APIs would be necessary ► Universal support for shared calendar listing all social compliance functions § FFC was asked to support a centralized calendar for upcoming conferences, webcasts, trainings, and meetings, with links to vendors for additional information Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  16. 16. Overview ► Executive Summary: Key Findings & Conclusions ► Tools for Investment ► Current Collaboration & Obstacles to Collaboration ► Future Aspirations for Collaboration ► Appendix Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  17. 17. Formal Collaborations center around Joint Codes of Conduct and Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives, and all are generally useful. Most popular of CURRENT Forms of Would like to collaborate more ► Formal Collaboration in the FUTURE ► Joint Codes of Conduct ► Joint Projects in a specific geography with other brands (i.e., BSR’s Beyond ► Joint Projects in a specific Monitoring, Jo-In, MFA Forum) geography with other brands ► Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives (i.e., ► Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Better Work, GSCP, MFA Forum, WRAP, SAI) ► Company program certification system ► Shared Data Platforms (i.e., FFC, Sedex) “In order to move beyond looking at CSR as risk management and privatized enforcement of labor laws, engagement is crucial.” “Collaboration in factories between the brands helps reduce audit fatigue and resources for both the factory and the brands. It also helps the brands focus on key issues in the factory, by using better business leverage.” “Collaboration needs to get more targeted and outcomes-oriented. “ Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
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  20. 20. Companies rely heavily on informal collaboration; particularly Industry Groups and advice from trusted brands Most useful forms of CURRENT Would like to collaborate more in the ► Informal Collaboration FUTURE ► Industry Working Group (i.e., BSR, ► Conduct trainings together with other EICC, PSCI, ICTI, AAFA, etc) brands ► Ask advice from other brand(s) on ► Worker grievance channels through a specific compliance or remediation joint service issue(s) ► Conduct trainings together with other brands ► Conduct joint audits with other companies ► Conduct joint remediation with other companies “Collaborative relationships are based on trust. I need to believe in the efforts of companies I work with.” Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
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  23. 23. Companies are currently collaborating on Labor, Environment and Health & Safety Issues Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  24. 24. Companies are sharing their Audit Reports with other companies, and that garners the most impact. ► Companies are Sharing: Over half of the companies thought that sharing Audit Results was the ► Factory lists most useful for their company. ► Audits (results) ► Remediation / CAP reports ► Other tools (i.e., audit tools, compliance benchmarks, specific policies, etc.) “Sharing speeds up learning.” “Sharing audit results with other companies increases our own leverage.” Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
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  27. 27. Companies collaborate with those who are similar to them, or with those they trust Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  28. 28. Most companies do not allocate $$ investments specifically for collaboration, nor do they track where do invest or ROI The (relatively) few companies who responded to this question indicated they’re spending between $10K - $50K on Collaboration and Less than one FTE, and did not measure investment return or savings as a result of collaboration Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  29. 29. Obstacles to collaboration are attitudinal: lack of trust in other companies and auditors - combined with risk aversion Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  30. 30. Technology listed as overcoming barriers, but mostly other things are needed Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  31. 31. Overview ► Executive Summary: Key Findings & Conclusions ► Tools for Investment ► Current Collaboration & Obstacles to Collaboration ► Future Aspirations for Collaboration ► Appendix Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  32. 32. In the future, respondents would like to see, above all else, collaborative trainings with other brands Types of Desired Collaboration Cited Types of Training Cited: ► Joint capacity building and ► Management systems training with other brands ► Root cause analysis ► One monitor standard ► Remediation ► Joint audit tool to share audits ► Grievance mechanisms ► Joint management of licensees ► Cultural differences training ► Joint approaches to remediation ► Regional trainings solutions and timelines ► Labor, empowerment and life skills Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  33. 33. Respondents did not have strong preferences on where they would invest capital, with a slight emphasis on joint training and remediation Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  34. 34. In the future, technology can be most helpful in efficiently collecting, storing and sharing data Data to be shared through Other ways technology can aid ► technology collaboration ► Corrective Action ► E-training Plans/Remediation plans ► Facilitating meetings with other brands ► Audit findings ► Monitoring protocols ► Statistics on what the major problems Key points are, sliceable by region, product type, and graphs on trends for the major violations ► Ensure it will interface well with Outlook ► Shared factories to make it practical to use ► Shared training opportunities ► Ensure confidentiality ► Best practices ► Allow anonymity ► Match names (particularly for China) ► Factory audits should be sortable by date and who performed the audit Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  35. 35. 72% believe that technology aids them in their collaboration efforts Technology is essential to ► Challenges Remain collaboration ► Facilitates data sharing, especially ► Disparity in software and databases across geographies and time zones create challenges ► Allows for scaling up of individual ► Need to overcome the risk aversion that efforts many companies still have about technological collaboration ► Eases communications with everyone: factories, workers, other companies, stakeholders ► Simplifies access ► Promotes opportunity ► The holy grail would be the shared “Technology has the capacity to truly change the face of collaboration, and is audit: many companies share one absolutely essential in order for audit and the results are shared using companies to fully collaborate.” technology. Companies can then use resources to jointly work on remediation Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  36. 36. Besides improving working conditions, respondents hope to reduce costs and increase efficiency through collaboration What do you hope to achieve through collaboration? § Improved working conditions § Enhanced performance/effectiveness § Shared expertise § Elimination of redundancy, enhanced efficiency § Reduced costs Least important: § Access to tools § Easier vendor implementation Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  37. 37. Chart average values displayed Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  38. 38. Shared e-learning platform could provide opportunities for scaling joint trainings for suppliers ► Companies are seeking ways to scale-up the reach of their supplier trainings through technology ► E-Learning could provide opportunities to deliver trainings to more suppliers, at less cost, and for multiple companies ► Sharing platform to share and access training materials and tools for collective use would also be useful ► Shared calendar can provide opportunities to ‘piggy-back’ with other companies on their training opportunities. Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  39. 39. In addition to technology, respondents seek increased auditing credibility & standardization, and a clear ROI Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  40. 40. Overview ► Executive Summary: Key Findings & Conclusions ► Tools for Investment ► Current Collaboration & Obstacles to Collaboration ► Future Aspirations for Collaboration ► Appendix Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  41. 41. 76% of Respondents were from Companies; Largely in Consumer Products and Retailers Enabling Responsible Supply Chains
  42. 42. Demographic information about survey respondents ► 101 people provided input into the survey ► Most who company respondents were in the CSR or Social Compliance function § 20% were from Environmental Compliance and Supply Chain ► Most had more than 2 years experience in the field; 25% with over 10 years experience. ► Only those from companies were asked to complete the entire survey as the questions were geared toward their experience Enabling Responsible Supply Chains