Customer Story: French Home Furnishings Retailer Implements a Due Diligence System
With the help of SGS, Conforama has become the first furniture retailer in France to implement a due diligence system (DDS).
The Conforama Group is the second largest home furnishings retailer in France. Valued at EUR 3.101 billion, with 13,400 employees, it has 291 stores in France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland. Its holding company, the Steinhoff Group, is the second largest furniture retailer in the world.
To continue providing its customers with reasonably priced, comfortable furniture, Conforama had to ensure the quality of its network of timber suppliers. It chose SGS to help implement and monitor a due diligence system (DDS), to help ensure that timber suppliers conformed to EU regulations and would not place the company at risk.
Understanding the Supply Network
SISL, the Steinhoff Group's sourcing and logistics division, needed to know the best ways to:
- Select and upgrade suppliers
- Control risks associated with timber products and ensure the traceability of timber
- Comply with requirements for companies that place timber products on the market
SGS began working with SISL at the end of 2012. As a global provider with broad geographical coverage, SGS was able to help SISL develop a better awareness of its supply network. SGS began working with SISL at the end of 2012, helping to ensure compliance with European Timber Regulation (EUTR) requirements through:
- EUTR theoretical training
- Practical EUTR audit training
- EUTR audits in Asia (China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan) at the premises of timber and wooden product suppliers
- Document translation and verification services
With SGS's assistance, SISL was able to assess timber suppliers according to three internal levels of EUTR requirements:
- Collection of information
- Risk assessment
- Risk mitigation
Christian de Meerschman, Quality Director Conforama:
We now have full traceability of our timber, whatever our sourcing area."
A New Due Diligence System
Conforama has become the first furniture retailer in France to implement a DDS. The customized DDS created by SGS:
- Gathers information about products intended for supply to the market
- Analyzes and evaluates the risk of illegally harvested products being placed on the market
- Uses a consolidated IT platform to monitor the results of supplier audits and to create corrective action plans for mitigating risks
This new DDS is helping SISL to meet EUTR requirements and is reinforcing the trust that customers place in Conforama.