Supplier qualification during crisis

The outbreak of COVID-19 is disrupting global supply chains, forcing companies to find new ways to qualify, assess and manage suppliers in their value chains.

Structured supplier qualification is essential any time to ensure business continuity, quality, safety and sustainability. A crisis such as COVID-19 puts additional pressure on companies’ abilities to maintain control. Circumstances may complicate continued assessment and management of existing suppliers or force companies to quickly onboard new suppliers.

COVID-19 is one very current example of a global crisis affecting business continuity and the resilience of supply chains. Others caused by climate change, political unrest or natural disasters may require our attention in the future.

Under any circumstance, actively managing supplier qualifications demonstrates to your supply chain and stakeholders that you are upholding set standards. Moreover, it will safeguard your business, customers and consumers long-term.

How can we help?

Identifying gaps, adequate actions, and continuing to actively qualify and assess suppliers are actions required to address risks, maintain control and keep the wheels turning. DNV can support you with Gap-analysis, setting up new supplier qualification systems and assessments or reviewing existing ones to adapt to the new scenario. We work with you to enable remote audits and plans for ensuring adequate and compliant monitoring of new and existing suppliers.

  • Gap-analysis of supplier qualification gaps. Assesses existing practices and processes to understand your company’s status, identifying adequate follow up actions. The Gap-analysis can assess your system overall as well as look specifically at your crisis-related status.
  • Training or workshops. Dedicated sessions, delivered remotely, to follow up the Gap-analysis results for companies that wish to understand more about identified topics or issues before proceeding.
  • Supplier qualification systems and assessments. Support in setting-up structured supplier qualification system and/or assessment programs according to the chosen qualification system. This can include writing the protocol and procedures that describes the company’s qualification criteria for any given parameter, i.e. sustainability. The protocols and tools used to assess the suppliers can be customized to a specific company and supply chain. Assessments can for example be based on an ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) risk mapping and desk-top assessment.
  • COVID-19 risk mitigation audit. Provides brands and retailers forced to suspend supplier monitoring programs due to access and travel restrictions with an assessment of their policies and procedures’ compliance with national COVID-19 regulations and instructions. This includes an evaluation of the controls required to be in place, such as (PPE, physical distancing, control of access, limitation of unnecessary travel) and a review of the controls in place. This will help companies adapt and implement compliant policies to actively continue supplier audits, demonstrating to stakeholders continued commitment to workers safety and active supply chain management.
  • Continued supplier assessments. Setting up a plan and execute remote audits on existing suppliers to ensure continuation and control during the crisis. This includes a review of existing audit plans/programs, identifying what parts of your supplier audits can be done remotely and what parts must put on hold until physical audits can resume.  Remote assessments can then be executed according to the revised plan. Combining the planning with a COVID-19 preparedness audit ensures audit execution in compliance with national crisis regulations and instructions.

As a global auditing company, DNV can support you with your different supply chain risk mapping, auditing & monitoring and remediation.

Contact us to learn more about how we can support.