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Transparency in the supply chain

Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Cases, CSR

BESTSELLER is a Danish family-owned clothing and accessories company founded in 1975.

BESTSELLER has a multi brand strategy, with main markets in most of Europe, the Middle East, Canada, India, and globally via e-commerce. The products are sold in 12,000 multi-brand and department stores in 53 markets worldwide.

BESTSELLER cooperates with selected suppliers primarily in China, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Italy. The company works with around 300 manufactures of garments and accessories, and has no ownership interests in the production chain.

BESTSELLER and ViewWorld: Enhancing transparency About 730 factories worldwide manufacture products for BESTSELLER, and the company aims at ensuring a sustainable approach via its Code of Conduct.

In 2011 BESTSELLER decided to introduce the ViewWorld platform as a low cost solution to support CSR initiatives and creating transparency throughout the entire supply chain.

Tom Fejsø, who works with Strategic Sourcing in the BESTSELLER Brand JACK & JONES explains:

”We have now mapped our supply chain and will use the information collected to secure better quality in our production. We are working proactively with the challenge that lies in having a supply chain that we don’t own”

Data collected via the ViewWorld platform is used to highlight production facilities that don’t meet BESTSELLER’s ethical standards. This approach also shows on the bottom line.
Transparency shows on the bottom line Making transparency a focal point has proved to be economically beneficial for JACK & JONES. In 2012 JACK & JONES had significant cost savings as a result of the improved transparency.

JACK & JONES being fully in control with Tier 1 suppliers has increased control with Tier 2 production facilities that are rated in order for internal prioritization regarding e.g. handling of waste water and chemical processes. Furthermore, information about geographical locations can help match Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities and thereby reduce transportation costs in the production.

Next step
Data collection via smartphones is now being implemented in the JACK & JONES organization across all product lines.

“When colleagues from procurement are visiting new potential production factories in e.g.Asia, we ask them to collect a few basic data points with the ViewWorld app. As a minimumthis includes GPS coordinates, and a few observations regarding first eye perception of productionfacilities,” explains Tom Fejsø.

Since smartphone based data collection is easily scaled up, the next step is to distribute the ViewWorld app to all Asian employees to ensure continuous data collection and evaluations of the supply chain.

“This could be embedded as a requirement that all in the supply chain should be visit and
evaluated before start and then we will start to see true transparency,” says Tom Fejsø