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Consumer driven economies abound, which is good news for retailers, manufacturers and brand owners, as well as criminals and fraudsters. How can the consumer goods industry protect itself from unscrupulous operators within the supply chain?

The emergence and proliferation of global brands, international manufacturing and ever-growing supply chains, not only increase opportunities for legitimate business, but also open the door to sub-standard production, deception and even fraud.

Brand owners, manufacturers and importers have spent years developing products and systems that comply with national, regional and international regulations and laws. This is not news, but nowadays, achieving compliance is just part of a bigger picture. Longer supply chains mean that buyers, of goods and services, are more distant from the reality of the day-to-day business of manufacturing.

Reputation management means ensuring products manufactured meet your criteria, as well as the legislative requirements in the countries in which you are offering it for sale. Consumers expect product to be safe, of sufficient quality and legally produced, whether they are buying groceries, electrical items, household goods or clothing. They cannot easily see the difference between a legitimate, compliant product, and one that has been produced in a factory that breaks labor laws, purchases substandard raw materials and/or components, or simply fails to comply with their contractual production values (quality, quantity, sourcing, etc.).

Due Diligence

Brand owners/developers need to be sure that following initial product testing, certification and manufacture, the continuing supplies meet the same specifications and standards as the first samples and run-offs. Verification audits help you to avoid the danger of suppliers substituting key components, or deengineering your product.

Responsible companies want to ensure that they have robust data to support their claims, both to ensure they meet legislative requirements and to increase their credibility. The most effective way to achieve this is to employ certification, analysis, verification and inspection at every stage of the production process.

Product Testing

From the outset, product testing and certification help manufacturers to ensure safety and quality at every stage of a product’s development and manufacture. It also enables them to incorporate critical construction and compliance requirements from the design stage to the end of the product life cycle.

Verification & Inspection

Given increasing legislation and consumer safety requirements you can employ various verification and inspection regimes to you ensure that your product will meet all legislative requirements, including:

Supplier

Honesty and credibility play an important role in trading platforms, but in a digital age buyers and sellers may never meet, making these value judgments more difficult. Supplier verification audits can verify many aspects of production, including:

  • Legality and authenticity
  • Business capacity
  • Production capacity
  • Quality control and management
  • Service management
  • Certification(s)

Claims

When companies demonstrate the accuracy and truthfulness of their statements, by submitting them to external scrutiny, benchmarking and qualification, consumer opinion can be positively reinforced. This supports purchasing decisions and reinforces trust in a product’s credentials.

Focus On Quality

At every stage of the supply chain the focus must be on quality, in the packaging, security, storage, logistics, production, personnel and distribution processes. Correct implementation of the various standards, specifications and regulations minimizes the risk to your business.

At SGS, we offer a global network of accredited laboratories, together with factory assessments or product inspections. With a presence in almost every region of the world, we conduct inspections and analyses to identify differences between supposedly identical products. This helps to flush out suppliers who are falling short of the expected standard, or perhaps sub-contracting work to unknown and un-monitored companies.

Holding a certification is no longer enough, the consumer goods industry needs to ensure that their efforts are delivering and those standards, processes and management systems are implemented correctly and operating effectively.

For more information, please visit the SGS Consumer Goods and Retail page or contact:

Effie Marinos
Consumer Testing Services
Sustainability Manager
SGS United Kingdom
Saunders House
52-53 The Mall
Ealing London, W5 3TA
United Kingdom
t: +44 (0)203 008 7860

Paula Troya
Consumer Testing Services
Manager
SGS Argentina
Tronador 4890
Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, C1430DNN
Argentina
t: +54 11 4124 2139