When it comes to IT compliance the discussion often moves to security compliance. That’s important for your business but not your only significant compliance risk. What if you are committed to being the most dependable manufacturer of apparel, accessories, and promotional items in the industry; as one of our customers is?  In this industry Social and Safety compliance can make or break your business.

So what does this have to do with IT? Technology, specifically the internet, has made sourcing products very easy; if all you are doing is comparing prices. But what is in the cost of an item? The purchase price of course, but also the risk that what your company is purchasing is compliant. Leaving that risk entirely with the manufacturer is relying on an ignorance defense. You get a reminder every Christmas of the damage done to the stores that sell toys deemed dangerous. You hear less about what happens to the manufacturers.

So what can your executive management do to mitigate compliance risk related to sourcing apparel and accessories? The answer is simple. Provide the training, guidance and checks and balances your sourcing organization needs. Measure them not only on lowest cost at an item level, but factor in the potential cost to the business of non-compliance. Do not risk putting dangerous chemicals in the apparel you sell. Do not agree to do business with a company that does not meet social compliance. Check out your manufacturer to verify their compliance. You will sleep better at night. The value generated by your sourcing personnel will also extend beyond what an internet search can provide.