Gaps in large companies’ knowledge of suppliers, survey finds

6 January 2015

A significant proportion of large businesses are awarding contracts to suppliers without having critical information about their health and safety, financial information and anti-corruption measures.

One third of supply chain professionals surveyed by business information provider Achilles said they issue tenders or contracts without having an anti-bribery and corruption policy for their main suppliers.

A fifth of the 300 respondents from businesses in Brazil, Canada, Spain, The Nordics, UK and US said they do not have any financial information about main suppliers before awarding contracts, and 15 per cent do not have in place information about their main contractors’ health and safety credentials.

In addition, buyers do not always check the validity of the information provided by suppliers or audit contractors on site. Some 35 per cent do not perform health and safety audits, 55 per cent do not carry out checks on financial reports and 61 per cent do not perform anti-bribery and corruption audits.

Achilles’ chief executive Adrian Chamberlain said businesses spend an estimated $60 billion (£39.4 billion) on managing information about suppliers globally. “Yet this survey shows there are still real gaps in knowledge,” he added.

“It is not an ‘optional extra’ for global businesses to operate in a safe way, tackle bribery and corruption and address financial risks; in many places, these are legal requirements. Large businesses have a responsibility to carry out proper due diligence on their suppliers to protect people working on sites, their own reputation and also the investments of shareholders – who trust them to manage risks.”

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