Better Buying has published guidelines for retailers and brands, based on surveys and discussions with suppliers about the challenges they are facing in relation to Covid-19
Retailers and brands are called on to communicate closely with their suppliers, and to address the challenges together in order to ensure mutual benefit and shared responsibility.
The guidelines look at what retailers and brands can do both in the immediate term, and during the recovery period. Here are the toplines at a glance. You can read the full version here.
Short-Term Crisis Management: Supporting Supplier Cash Flow
- Collaborate in true partnership with your suppliers
- Secure the cash your company needs in order to cover its contractual obligations, including accounts payable with suppliers
- Discuss with suppliers their financial health and whether they have the cash/liquidity necessary to retain workforce for at least three months
- Accept and pay all existing purchase orders for goods that have been shipped, are ready or in progress, or are cut. Do not resort to outright cancelations
- Rationalize current assortment plans and reconfigure orders to continue producing viable products.
- Engage suppliers to manufacture masks and other needed personal protective equipment for workers on the front lines
- Extend delivery dates/accept shipping delays, as necessary
- Pay a portion of orders that have not been cut and future orders that are affected by changes in volume, have delayed shipping deadlines, or are on hold
And during the recovery period
- Keep human rights/sustainability/ compliance staff intact to support recovery that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable
- Work closely with suppliers to plan and secure capacity needed and provide updated forecast
- Obtain the cash necessary to pay upfront or upon delivery for new orders
- Work closely with suppliers to plan needed development and production time and time-and-action (TNA) calendars allowing mutually agreed shipping deadlines. Expect and accommodate transportation delays
- Closely coordinate with nominated raw materials and other suppliers to align lead times, deliveries, and payment terms with Tier 1 suppliers’ needs
- Make efficiency a high priority in corporate operations and day-to-day business with suppliers