How can accountability be better managed in long, global supply chains?
“Accountability traditionally meant writing favourable terms into a contract, monitoring vendor performance and then working with the supplier to uphold its obligations” (www.ey.com) While these terms are very important, leading organisations have found that in the supply chain, every sector needs to be addressed and accountability must be incorporated into every level, from supplier to customer. Negotiating a good contract is only a small part of accountability while the most important part is compliance. Each supplier must comply with obligations in the contract they signed. In the case of Mattel, the paint supplier did not comply with the regulations set out in the contract of only using lead-free paint. Supplier selection is very important as it is a means to reduce costs and limit the number of vendors. Once these suppliers are selected, the way the company views and manages these relationships, as regards accountability, can be important to its success. There is much more to be gained by the supplier in cooperation rather than going beyond obligations of the contract. Mattel
Mattel have implemented a broad range of initiatives and policies aimed at encouraging responsible practices. A good example of this is their Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) which was launched in 1997, to ensure safe and fair treatment of workers in there own manufacturing facilities and those of their vendors and licensees. In 2007 Mattel managed accountability by implementing a corporate responsibility team that is headed by the senior vice-president who reports directly to the CEO. They have come together with stakeholders to find out what they want and the main focus seemed to be on quality and safety issues. When Mattel experienced product recalls they reached out to consumers and other stakeholders to inform them of the problems and help them identify the affected toys so...