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Counterintuitive approach to supplier risk assessment

Technical departments at food manufacturers are very busy completing extensive supplier risk assessments using increasingly complex matrices and decision trees.

Once completed the fun of getting all of the supplier self audit questionnaires and detailed raw material specifications completed by suppliers starts.

Months and and seasons merge into one another as constant chasing gradually brings in some information and then a loop of chasing suppliers for missing information starts.

Many food businesses never get to the end of this process due to problems getting everything in from all suppliers.

Lurking somewhere in here will be the suppliers who using various excuses avoid providing any/enough information.

Why are these suppliers who have not provided the necessary information after months of chasing not providing the information.

  • Do they not have the information?
  • Have they got something to hide?
  • Are they under resourced in their technical department?
  • Do they not have a technical department?
  • Do they not know the source of the ingredient supplied?

Based on these reasons, how many of these suppliers can be classed as “low risk”

So the counterintuitive approach to supplier risk assessment is that all of these suppliers should be treated as high risk until enough information is provided until such time as they can be reclassified as low risk. In the interim you probably need to get out and conduct a supplier audit.

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