How to Successfully Manage Suppliers and Ensure Safety and Compliance


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Managing suppliers and at the same time ensuring compliance is one of the greatest challenges faced by the management in any organization. It requires a lot of best practices and compliance at every step of the way. Often there is a lot of problem when it comes to ensuring compliance by employees and the suppliers as well.

Managing suppliers is very important to ensure a healthy and productive interactive long term relationship. There is need to maintain manners and diplomatic approaches to sensitive issues like format of payment and time of payment. At the same time, there is another sensitive issue which managers of healthcare facilities and food related products need best practices in. There is need to ensure safety best practices, which involves many sublevels of monitoring and inspection by quality control inspectors. A lapse in making sure that products are manufactured according to the requirements of standard best practices can have deadly consequences. For example; in 2008 a pharmaceutical product from a Chinese supplier known as Heparin caused numerous patient deaths.

Therefore, there are some major steps managers can take as best practices. These will help in managing suppliers and ensure safety and compliance all at once. These are:

  • Third party scrutiny
  • Living up to the FDA expectations
  • Satisfying the ISO 9001: 2000 Expectation

At the same time, it is important to evaluate and analyze the problems one may face when managing suppliers. This is a form of risk management best practice managers and directors must ensure compliance with. There are 5 top management problems which can arise and these are;

  1. Lack of ideal platform and structure for managing multiple suppliers in an organization.
  2. Lack of ability to monitor and track input from suppliers and other providers of the organization.
  3. Failure to report problems involving suppliers swiftly and successfully.
  4. Lack of supplier oversight.
  5. Insufficient communication between the company and the contractor.

How managers approach these risks is a matter of “master control”. The necessary steps one can take to control these risks to ensure risk management and compliance are:

  1. Make available centralized platform and structure for managing multiple suppliers.
  2. Offer means to monitor and track input from suppliers and other providers.
  3. Ensure ability to report problems involving suppliers quickly and effectively.
  4. Afford tools for conducting inspection of oversight by suppliers.
  5. Present tools for improved communication between suppliers and contractors.

It is important to emphasize that both suppliers and buyers must take a serious approach to ensuring the quality of the product is good. Subjecting the masses to harmful products is a very common and problematic issue. This is why suppliers and managers must ensure compliance and risk management best practices.

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