Procurement risks: your lack of due diligence can lead to harm
Procurement risks: lack of due diligence can lead to harm. Procurement is one of the most critical areas of any organisation, large or small. Procurement officers secure the materials and goods that a business needs to be productive and successful. They do so while ensuring the best possible price, quality, delivery efficiency, and other important considerations.
Unfortunately, due to the very nature of dealing with third-party suppliers/vendors, procurement also requires a high level of risk management. As many high-profile cases have shown, supply-line problems can cause financial and reputational damage, sometimes on a grand scale.
The infamous horse meat scandal in the UK presents a classic scenario of the damage from risky third-party associations. Widely known international corporations, including Burger King and others, were forced to cut ties with a meat supplier after facing financial and reputational harm from the news that some of the supplier’s products were tainted with horseflesh.
The revelations of tainted meat resulted in international news headlines, waves of criticism from consumers and food products pulled from shelves and freezers in response to the uproar. As damaging as it was, the crisis helped illustrate why due diligence is becoming more important as supply chains expand and become more complex, especially among international organisations.
The following are some priorities every organisation should have to minimise risk in the procurement process:
Risk #1 – Know who your suppliers are
Due diligence is as vital in procurement as in any other business area; in some cases, more so. Third-Party Risk Management (3PRM™) services help organisations proactively mitigate risks from third-party affiliations, protecting organisations from liability, brand damage, and harm to the business. As part of this service, experts check supplier backgrounds to verify their financial viability, quality control, compliance standards and – most importantly – any prior legal or criminal action. Taking this step before you engage with a supplier or vendor can save some severe headaches down the road.
Risk #2 – Consider your organisation’s reputation
The horsemeat scandal showed how quickly and drastically it can damage a well-respected organisation’s reputation and brand. Your procurement team should know that while the bottom line is essential, nothing is more critical than protecting the image and brand of the company. Cutting due diligence corners to secure the lowest price is not only unwise – it should be strictly against company policy.
Risk #3 – Find sustainable lines of supply
Seek out suppliers with long, successful backgrounds in their business. Find companies that are economically sound and socially conscious, using fair labour practices and promoting sustainable resources. It harmed the organisation when it discovered that a supplier was using child labour or other unethical or illegal methods to produce their goods. Implement a code of conduct with expectations for your contractors, suppliers and vendors, and review them regularly to ensure they follow your guidelines.
Risk #4 – Have backup suppliers in place
What happens when your primary vendor is suddenly out of compliance? Or folds up completely? If your production chain grinds to a halt, the damage can be severe and lasting to both your organisation’s financial and reputational health. Ensure your procurement team has conducted due diligence on backup suppliers that you can turn to in a crisis. Spending a little more to keep the production lines open will be a small price to pay compared to seeing your business come to a standstill.
Risk #5 – Conduct a thorough risk assessment
Any organisation that hasn’t prepared a risk assessment of its procurement process should immediately do so. How else will you know what red flags or gaps make your organisation susceptible to fraud, waste, risk to reputation, or all of the above? Third-party risk management experts can help you develop and put in place an effective third-party risk assessment plan that keeps your organisation protected and minimises your exposure to unseen or unknown trouble spots.
Every organisation needs a successful and efficient procurement process. It also needs to be safe from the inherent risks with connections to third parties, including suppliers, vendors and contractors. When it comes to procurement, let CRI Group help you put proper risk management processes in place so you don’t have to worry about your supply chain putting you in tomorrow’s headlines.
Who is CRI Group?
Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.
We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.
In 2016, CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification.
ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s international team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.