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The costs of modern slavery

Modern slavery is a term that would be abhorrent to most Australians – but how much is the average person willing to pay to prevent it?

It’s an issue that’s driving more and more companies to put their supply chains under the microscope.

Critical Input Managing Director Tim Griffiths has been diving into some of the big questions challenging today’s in-house procurement managers and supply chain strategists.

“Everyone loves a ‘made in Australia’ stamp, but who is really prepared to pay for it?” Tim asked.

Real vs perceived risks

These include the real and perceived risks around modern slavery, geopolitics and manufacturing locally.

“You could argue that with the civil unrest due to a convergence of several factors, the United States of America poses more risk than China,” Tim said.

“Also, while there’s a perception that South-East Asian suppliers are within the modern slavery category, what percentage actually are?

“Manufacturing is a mature industry in many Asian countries and reputable manufacturers are scrutinised to ensure they meet ethical standards and expectations.”

Another side of the modern slavery coin was Australians’ love affair with cheap technology, clothes and other items.

“Everyone loves a ‘made in Australia’ stamp, but who is really prepared to pay for it?” Tim asked.

“If there was ever a black swan event that made the world revise their supply chains, Covid-19 is it,” Tim said.

COVID-19 presents an opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic could be an opportunity to reset long-accepted practices and make positive changes within the procurement industry.

“If there was ever a black swan event that made the world revise their supply chains, Covid-19 is it,” Tim said.

“Not only did the spread of the virus highlight our global interconnectivity, but it also put a magnifying glass on vulnerabilities in supply chains and processes.”

Looking for solutions

Other questions Tim encourages organisations to discuss include:

  • How can in-house procurement managers drive behavioural changes?
  • What are some of the systems that can be put in place to assess modern day slavery risks?
  • Should the government be leading the charge on developing local manufacturing and innovation industry, or should this be left to private sectors?
  • How could government, the education sector and industry better collaborate?
  • Should we be taking this opportunity to become the architects of Australia’s future industries?
  • Is this a chance to strive for environmental and sustainability goals?
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Critical Input Supply Chain Review service

Now, more than ever, organisations need to understand the status of their supply chain. That’s why Critical Input offers a Supply Chain Review Service. This quick, external review provides valuable data and evidence for improvements or changes.

What’s a Supply Chain Review?

Critical Input’s Supply Chain Review (SCR) service provides a snapshot of your organisation’s supply chain, it’s maturity and what improvements may be required. It’s not seen as an audit, nor does it take on audit principles.

The qualified and quantified review looks at all elements of your end-to-end supply chain and captures its capability and capacity, then recommends opportunities for improvement if required.

We see the below functions as part of the end-to-end supply chain spectrum:

  • Management
  • Strategy
  • Procurement
  • Purchasing
  • Contracting
  • Contract management
  • Category management
  • Vendor management
  • Demand management (interface with capital and operations)
  • Inventory
  • Master data management
  • Warehousing
  • Logistics.