Retailers Support a More Sustainable Supply Chain with New Oracle Cloud Service
Retail Supplier Evaluation extends Oracle’s merchandising capabilities to add visibility and transparency into the ethical and environmental practices of all suppliers
Oracle today expanded its merchandising procurement capabilities with the introduction of Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation Cloud Service. The new cloud application enables retailers of all kinds to access and evaluate the governance of suppliers based on their ethical, environmental, safety, and quality performance practices. By being able to make more effective, sustainable, and responsible sourcing decisions as part of the merchandising procurement process, retailers can better manage risk across their supply chain, protect their brand image, and more easily identify greener and more ethical sourcing options.
For example, using its Supplier Evaluation dashboard a fashion retailer realizes its production of denim is resulting in a high level of chemical pollution and consuming 10,000 liters of water per item. By reviewing its suppliers’ environmental and ethical credentials, the retailer can adjust its providers to make more responsible sourcing decisions that reduce water waste and chemical pollution.
See related article: 82% frustrated, fed up with lack of progress by firms on sustainability: Oracle
“Consumers are increasingly prioritizing environmentally friendly and ethically sourced goods. To continue to succeed, responsible and sustainable sourcing needs to be at the forefront of a brands continued innovation efforts,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. “Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation will enable businesses to make effective and responsible decisions across their supply chain and confidently communicate this supplier information to their customers, ultimately building brand loyalty and increasing revenue.”
Consumers and shareholders putting their wallets on sustainable retailers
Shareholder and consumer expectations are putting a new level of accountability and pressure on executives to bring sustainable products to market. In fact, nearly 60% of consumers recently said it’s important that retailers’ brand values, such as sustainability and ethically sourced materials, align with their own. McKinsey and Company estimates that two-thirds of the average company’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) footprint lies with suppliers, and those companies with strong ESG credentials can drive down costs by 5-10%.
Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation augments the Oracle Retail Merchandising procurement process by giving buyers additional data to evaluate existing suppliers or identify new ones. With the cloud service, retailers can enable vendors to report their compliance through scored assessments, audits, certifications, and change management practices. This operationalizes supply chain ESG performance as part of the standard merchandising procurement process. With better visibility and insights across the supply chain, retailers can assess how changes and alterations will impact their ESG score and enact change management processes to help ensure smooth integration of new suppliers with limited disruptions.
Increased visibility and governance across the supply chain
“Because consumers expect businesses to operate with people and planet in mind, they expect companies to be transparent related to the impacts of their businesses,” said Jordan Speer, research manager, IDC Retail Insights. “To earn loyalty, retailers need to operate ethically and with transparency, pulling back the curtain to allow the consumer to see how the sausage is made. It requires work to provide that visibility, but it unlocks a treasure chest of new opportunity that creates competitive advantage through differentiation. Consumers will pay for products and services that are produced sustainably. They will pay to connect with the brands and people involved in creating and producing their products.”
With Supplier Evaluation retailers can help ensure more sustainable products through:
- Assessments: Users create or utilize pre-defined assessments to measure a supplier and their supply chain against various standards, policies, or retailer-defined needs. Suppliers are invited to complete relevant assessment(s) as a part of their onboarding, re-evaluation, or new policy workflow process.
- Audits: Retailers can further evaluate a supplier by scheduling and conducting on-site facility audits and visits, collaborating on non-conformances, monitoring, workflow corrective actions, and determining an overall conformance score.
- Governance: Documents can be tracked for readership and acceptance, and later the adoption of new policies, standards, and regulations. This centralized location can house policies, standards, training material, processes, guidelines, and regulations for employees and external suppliers.
- Changes: The workspace includes news and urgent action notifications to visibly inform all applicable users of changes, expectations, and activities.
- Certification: Once vendors are evaluated, users can register and upload certified evidence, validation, and conformance that the facilities meet the industry standards, specific declaration, and or the criteria set by the organization.
- Performance: Retailers can create critical processes to help ensure that all appropriate steps, activities, and measurements have been completed during registration, re-evaluation, new policy roll-out, and ongoing performance. Performance dashboards enable monitoring each assessment, audit, certification, and adoption against each supplier, facility, and supply chain. Scores can then be aggregated by a supplier, category, standard, and policy.
Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation will be generally available July 14, 2022.