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Information Governance and its Relationship to Ethical Supply Chain Management

Information Governance (IG) is critical for organizations striving to achieve supply chain transparency and responsibility. Success in this realm necessitates a keen awareness of business, political, regulatory, and stakeholder considerations – all of which must be driven by a clear commitment to having the “right data at the right time.”

Conversely, the failure to oversee supply chain partners is often based on a stream of data access and accuracy failures which result, in the worst cases, in severe market repercussions and regulatory scrutiny. This has been seen in instances where reliance on suppliers with substandard conditions impacted major companies.

One example of good supply chain management practice aligning with IG best practices, is exemplified by findings in the General Motors 2020 Sustainability Report in which GM detailed and substantiated its robust corporate commitment to supply chain compliance. Measures referred to in this report included:

Enforcing ethical practices via a Supplier Code of Conduct and contract Terms and Conditions, which aligns with IG strategies such as documentation frameworks, training sessions, and attestations ensuring supplier adherence and commitment to ethical standards.

Conducting annual surveys involving over 3,000 suppliers to verify ethical practices, with IG strategies like automated tracking, risk-based sampling, and continuous monitoring streamlining the process and ensuring real-time insights.

Requiring Tier I suppliers to uphold environmental, safety, and quality standards, monitored through BIQS aiming for Level V compliance. IG strategies, including centralized data repositories, automated certification checks, and integrated reporting, can provide a comprehensive view of Tier I supplier compliance.

By integrating robust IG strategies into the supply chain management process, companies can proactively find the correct information that they need to ensure and quantify adherence to ethical standards, which, in turn, can mitigate risks, and build resilient, responsible supply chains that resonate with stakeholders and stand the test of scrutiny.


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