Smit & zoon wants to position itself as a direct or indirect preferred supplier and wishes to protect its customers from any reputational damage that may be causes by products or services supplied.
Some examples of transparency required by our customers:
In today’s market, the ethical and responsible performance of companies is under increasing scrutiny from customers, the media, investors and other stakeholders.
Companies are under constant pressure to monitor and understand their supply chains.
Suppliers are pushed to provide ethical data to various customers, undergo multiple audits and comply with different codes and standards. Duplicating all of this information can be counter-productive, often leading to a loss of productivity and preventing suppliers from concentrating resources on actually improving standards.
This is the exact reason why Sedex was created.
This not for profit membership organization is dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains.
As the largest collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data, Sedex is an innovative and effective supply chain management solution, helping us to reduce risk and improve supply chain practices.
They are not a standard setting body, code of conduct or certification. Instead their role is to enable us to effectively share and manage supply chain information, with the aim of driving continuous improvement.
Supplier Information Exchange
Sedex Advance, their core product, is a secure, online database which allows members to store, share and report on information in four key areas:
Since their launch in 2004, over 38,000 organizations from over 150 countries have made Sedex their platform of choice for exchanging ethical supply chain data.
They offer three different types of membership (A (Buyer), AB (Buyer/Supplier) and B (Supplier), reflecting the different types of functionality available in the Sedex system.
For buyers, Sedex offers a system for collecting and analyzing information on ethical and responsible business practices in the supply chain. The system enables buyers to run reports on a variety of ethical supply chain data and track suppliers’ progress on key issues. In addition, a Risk Assessment tool helps companies to identify the likelihood of risk in their supply chain and prioritize resources to effectively manage this risk.
For suppliers, they provide an efficient and cost-effective way of sharing ethical information with multiple customers. This helps to cut down on unnecessary paperwork, saving companies time and money.
Suppliers complete one self assessment questionnaire and can choose to share this with multiple customers on Sedex, along with any other relevant ethical information, such as audit reports, certificates and corrective action plans.
By allowing suppliers to share the same data with many customers, Sedex helps reduce the need for multiple audits, allowing both parties to concentrate on making improvements.
Smit & zoon has been a B-member since 2015 and we have been adding our information to this database ever since. The information in our self assessment questionnaire can be made available upon request and we have even completed a SMETA audit (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) of which the results are also added to the database.
Audits are a crucial tool to measuring working conditions and standards on a site – both as a snapshot of what’s happening in that moment and as a benchmark for what improvements can be made. To avoid audit duplication, taking up time and money for suppliers, the Sedex Associate Auditor Group (AAG) developed the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA).
This ethical audit report was created as a response to industry demand for a consistent, easy to share, format. At its heart are International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, embodied in the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) base code, and local law – both used as measurement tools.
It incorporates a compilation of best practice on auditing from brands, retailers and audit companies, and has insight into the newest and most robust practices. It was developed in consultation with all these groups and is constantly reviewed by them to further refine and improve the methodology.
There are four reasons which make the SMETA audit special:
As it’s a common error, it’s important to note that SMETA is not a code of conduct or a certification process. It shows a company is committed to measuring labor standards, health and safety, environment and business ethics practices.
SMETA is now the mostly widely used audit methodology worldwide, with 10,000 audits being uploaded to the Sedex platform every year and an estimated 30,000 SMETA audits being conducted for members and non-members for offline use.