Sustainability in the value chain has been, to date, a largely top-down endeavor. Companies often believe that, as owners of the final product, they should dictate every aspect of the design, creation, transport, impacts and conditions surrounding its manufacturing. This perspective can limit the contributions that value chain partners can make to finding opportunities to innovate and manage risks.
Contigo Partners believes that getting the whole system in the room is tantamount to a successful outcome. The perspective of your value chain partners is a requirement to identifying the most effective solutions. Our services are designed to consider all perspectives, and produce better, safer working conditions, cleaner raw material choices, and a healthier environment.
We provide the following services:
- Business Practices Alignment
- Strategy and Policy Development and Implementation
- Supplier Engagement
- Industry Collaboration
Business Practices Alignment
For many companies, their social, environmental, and health and safety supply chain challenges can be partially traced back to their own business decisions made much earlier in the product lifecycle.
Product Design <> Engineering <> Manufacturing <> Sourcing
These decisions often have unintended consequences resulting in health and safety accidents, pollution of the factory’s environs, poor working conditions or unlicensed subcontracting, not to mention costly production inefficiencies that are avoidable. With a more complete line of sight and cooperation between functions early in the product lifecycle, many of these challenges can be mitigated.
Contigo Partners delivers an approach to aligning business practices that identifies potential risks as well as opportunities for innovation and efficiency in your product lifecycle. We begin with an efficient assessment of the origin of risks and inefficiencies. We then engage senior staff from relevant functions to co-develop modifications to processes and decision-making. We then help to pilot those changes in selected areas with a view to refining them. Finally we work with your teams and supply chain partners to implement the changes, engaging and training staff where needed.
Supply Chain Strategy Integration
An effective supply chain strategy is developed in alignment with a company’s sourcing or purchasing team to ensure effective implementation. In some cases, companies have a variety of policies – human rights policy, supplier sustainability guidelines, quality and pricing goals, supplier code of conduct – that conflict. Finally, an effective strategy considers where resources are most effectively applied: auditing, collaboration, supplier capacity building, etc.
Contigo Partners will work with you to identify where the kinks or conflicts exist. Our risk assessment helps identify whether resources are aligned with the company’s full opportunities and risks. We will review the myriad policies and help create alignment with internal and external partners who are empowered to make decisions, and identify joint solutions.
Many companies benefit from working directly with their value chain partners in a structured and ongoing process to address sustainability opportunities and risks. Working with suppliers to help them understand and adopt their own sustainability strategies is a more successful approach than the ‘comply-or-die’ method that has led to more audits and fewer improvements.
Contigo Partners delivers a range of support to help you launch or maintain a process to engage with your value chain partners such as:
- Value Chain Forum that engages all members in structured dialogue on sustainability implementation topics, creating an environment for ongoing problem-solving and innovation
- Supplier Trainingsthat help ensure supplier understanding of new policies, root cause analysis of issues, new laws or suggested practices impacting their operations
- Issue Forums designed to bring value chain partners together on a particular issue of concern, such as human trafficking, energy efficiency practices, labor conditions, restricted substances, and transparency.
To go it alone can lead to frustration and limited impact. Industry collaboration helps increase leverage, replicate learnings and reduce costs and inefficiencies. Yet many such collaborations stall due to poor group facilitation or unclear desired outcomes. Knowing when and how to convene an Industry Working Group or getting a group back on track can seem daunting.
Contigo Partners delivers a full-service approach that considers the unique dynamics of your industry relationships and the issues you face today and in the future. We design and facilitate all interactions using skillful facilitation techniques. We manage the overall process and ensure goals are met and responsibilities maintained. We also serve as an outsourced executive when needed.