Have you ever stopped to think about what impact your supply chain would have on your business if they were to have a serious health & safety incident? The chances are you might have at one time or another, given it a few moments thought but often that’s as far as it goes.
But if you give it some serious thought I bet the impact to you would be significant, whether it affects your supply chain or maybe if a larger customer starts to raise awkward questions. It’s not unusual that a serious problem in one business impacts on many others.
We were only discussing this with a client the other day and it raised the question of what would one of their major clients think if they were to audit down the supply chain. That fact is they have made significant progress to improve their own health & safety systems and employee attitude over the last 3 years and the clients have appreciated this. However the MD freely admitted the same could not be said of their suppliers; yet as a business they have so far not made significant noises to the suppliers.
I’m sure many businesses will think they would just go to another supplier if there was a problem but is it really that easy. For this business the answer is no because changing suppliers can involve gaining customer approval where parts are deemed to be safety critical. Even when this is not the case then changing supplier’s means establishing new relationships and this is often not straightforward.
So maybe it’s time to give this some serious thought and use your influence to improve the health & safety in your suppliers business or look to find new suppliers if this is not possible.