Wednesday 23rd Aug 2017 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Time to license supply chain professionals?

More than one in ten business leaders think modern slavery is likely to be in their supply chains, according to a poll by YouGov for the Chartered Instituted of Purchasing and Supply. And the institute is now warning that the UK could be sleepwalking into another supply chain crisis similar to the horsemeat scandal last year.

The survey found that 72 per cent of British supply chain professionals say they have zero visibility of their supply chains beyond the second tier with only 11 per cent saying they have visibility along the entire chain.

As a result, only 21 per cent of supply chain professionals say that they are able to guarantee there is no malpractice in their supply chains with 51 per cent saying the horse meat scandal has not led to supply chain risk being taken more seriously.

The survey also found complacency among consumers – only 25 per cent said they cared about how their products were sourced.

In view of these figures, it’s no surprise that CIPS chief David Noble talks in terms of “don’t ask, don’t tell” pact between consumers and business leaders on supply chains.

“If the Modern Slavery Bill is to have a chance of eliminating slavery from British supply chain and we are to avoid repetition of the horsemeat scandal, then we must empower procurement professionals within their businesses.”

Noble has put forward the notion of professional licensing of all supply chain and procurement professionals, arguing that this is becoming critical to avoid the UK sleepwalking into another supply chain crisis.

I think that is an interesting idea – what do you think?

Would it be just more bureaucracy for no real benefit – or would it strenghten the hand of supply chain professionals?

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