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Supply Chain News: Procurement News Round Up for Aug. 8, 2017


Bangladesh Launches Program to Map Apparel Suppliers; Best Interview Questions for Procurement Hires; Jail Sentences for Principals in UK Horsemeat Scandal

Aug. 8, 2017
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Procurement news has been sparse of late, but below is a summary of some of the most interesting stories over the past week or so.

Bangladesh Creates Apparel Factory Mapping Program

Participants in the Bangladesh garment industry are collaborating to create a publicly available digital map to bring transparency through the supply chain, stop labor abuses and improve safety.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Do you remember the 2013 horse meat scandal in Europe, in which fresh and frozen products sold in grocery stores - primarily in the UK - were found to contain significant percentages of horse meat?

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The Bangladesh Digital RMG Factory Mapping (DRFM-B) is a new project that will collect "credible, comprehensive and accurate data" on factories across Bangladesh and release it as a publicly available online map, announced C&A Foundation, the corporate arm of Dutch retail group C&A.

The project will be managed and implemented by Dhaka's BRAC University's Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, said the C&A Foundation, with partners including the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Bangladesh's garment sector, which exports about $28 billion worth of goods per year and employs 4 million people, has come under scrutiny after a series of factory fires and other incidents that preceded the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in 2013 that killed some 1135 workers.

The incident raised many questions about sourcing practices in the global apparel supply chain.

Just recently, a boiler explosion at a plant in Bangladesh run by Aldi supplier Multifabs killed 13 people and renewed calls for more transparency and implementation of labor laws in the country.

Workers right groups have hcriticized retailers for failing to improve working conditions in their supply chains, with long hours, low pay and poor safety standards a common seen in the sector.

Parveen Huda, project manager for the program, said the project was part of efforts to force transparency from big manufacturers about their supply chains.

"The mapping project will fuel Bangladesh's garment industry advancements, inspire shared responsibility, responsible sourcing, collective action and build upon pre-existing improvement efforts through informed decision-making," he said.

Project managers will collect data on the country's factories - including names, locations, number of workers, product types, export countries, certification and brand customers - and publish the information on-line, according to the C&A Foundation.

To ensure the information remains current and correct, verification will also be crowd-sourced from the public.

Siddiqur Rahman, BGMEA president, said the initiative would bring greater visibility to the country's garment sector and could help stave off disasters like Rana Plaza.

The 10 Best Questions to Ask Supply Management Candidates

James Williams, a procurement team leader at ActewAGL, an electricity company in Australia, recently wrote an interesting guest column on the UK's web site.
His theme: what are the best questions to ask potential new hires for procurement positons.

His top 10 are provided below:

1. What have been the biggest achievements in your procurement career?

2. What do you like most and least about procurement?

(See More Below)



3. Give an example of a time when you have had a difficult experience with a stakeholder and how you resolved it.

4. What tools and techniques would you use to implement a company-wide operational change driven by a procurement need to save money? And how would you get buy-in from stakeholders?

5. What has been the hardest lesson you have learned in procurement?

6. Give an example when your perseverance resulted in a win for you and your organization?

7. Who has had the biggest influence of your career? And how have he/she helped shape you?

8. What on-going education are you undertaking?

9. What would you like to be doing in two or three years? And what is your career goal in 10 years' time?

10. What attracted you to apply for this role and to work this company?

Nothing fancy, but a good place to start in building a question list.

Key Players in Euro Horse Meat Scandal Sentenced to Prison

Do you remember the 2013 horse meat scandal in Europe, in which fresh and frozen products sold in grocery stores - primarily in the UK - were found to contain significant percentages of horse meat, sometimes nearly 100% of the content?

It brought into the supply chain the new concept of "food integrity," with several companies beginning expensive testing programs for incoming meat supplies.  More than 1000 retailers and food manufacturers purchased the tainted products.

Well some four years later, some justice has been meted out.

Andronicos Sideras, 55, and Ulrik Nielsen, 58, were sentence in London last week to four years and six months in jail and three years and six months, respectively, as a result of their roles in the scandal.

The pair were found guilty of a conspiracy to sell 30 metric tons of horsemeat as beef, most of which made its way into the Euro food chain.

Sideras, one of the owners of meat processor Dinos & Sons, mixed the products together before selling the meat to other firms.

Nielsen, the Danish owner of FlexiFoods, bought horsemeat and beef from suppliers across Europe and had it delivered to Dinos.

The majority of the meat, including some from farm horses not sold for slaughter, made it into the food chain and, while the face value of the fraud was nearly 200,000 pounds, police said the true cost had probably run into millions of pounds.

Meanwhile, Europol said just last week 66 more people had been arrested for trading horsemeat unfit for human consumption and it had seized bank accounts, properties and luxury cars following an investigation into the scandal. 65 people were arrested in Spain, and the main suspect, a Dutch citizen, was arrested in Belgium.

Any reaction to this week's procurement stories? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


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