Chapter 4: CSR Harmonization

August 7, 2017

Many buyers rated in the Better Buying pilot are allowing suppliers to submit recently completed audits in lieu of undergoing new audits
    • The issue of CSR Harmonization includes both the internal challenge of

aligning buyer staff on corporate social responsibility goals

    • and the

external challenge of reducing audit duplicationThis chapter also addresses the often-heard supplier concern that on one hand other workplace requirements, while the business side of the company is telling them “I don’t care what you have to do, just get it here on time.”

    CSR harmonization received an average score of 4.5 stars (range from 1 to 5 stars).  Fewer than 8% of submitted ratings indicated buyer sourcing and social benefit requirements. These findings clearly indicate ways that these internal conflicts play out for workers on the factory floor.
    The other good news from the pilot test that we hope holds as more data are collected is the fact that over 82% of submitted ratings indicated that buyers were accepting results from recently completed audits/assessments of workplace conditions in lieu of requiring new audits specifically for them.

    • Our independent external evaluation raised some concern from buyers about whether this question on acceptance of others’ audits was appropriate to include. This question was added to the Better Buying rating system at the strong request of suppliers who spend countless days every year hosting and financial resources.

Just like most buyers, suppliers would probably be better off shifting the time and money currently spent on multiple audits to developing capacity building initiatives that solve the problems.

How can you use the information Better Buying provides about CSR harmonization?
    We took care in writing the question to be clear that buyers are not expected to take just any audit in lieu of their own. Buyers who create a well-thought out auditing program that accepts several different audits, and then carefully communicate that program to suppliers, should end up with positive ratings on this topic.
    When ratings about individual buyer companies go public, suppliers will be able to consider their experience with CSR harmonization as compared to the average experience of other suppliers. If you’re not allowed to submit other audits and what you need to do to get on a more open program.
    Thanks for reading this week’s installment of our report on the Better Buying pilot test!  You’ll definitely want to be on the look out for next week’s report on “Cost and Cost Negotiation.”
    • If you would like to add colleagues who should be getting this information, please

sign them up for our emails

    • For more information about Better Buying,

please visit our website. Marsha A. Dickson, Ph.D. and Doug Cahn Co-Founders, Better Buying


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Chapter 5: Pricing Orders Responsibly

Fewer than half of Better Buying ratings show buyers are covering the costs of compliant production Cost and legal requirements. We asked suppliers… Read More

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