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www.psi-network.de PSI Journal 11/2016 G lobal sourcing is taken for granted these days. The industry also obtains its products from numerous countries and thus exploits the opportunities of global economy. Its greatest risks include a lack of transparency along the supply chain – with all the consequences that, in the worst case, can cost companies money and even their reputation. Importers and manufacturers who adhere to the old adage “trust is good, control is better” are therefore basically on the right track. Supplier audits are important milestones along this path which must be pursued by companies that take corporate social responsibility (CSR) seriously. Audits are more than simply control instruments. Rather, they are well-thoughtout programmes that create transparency in the value-added chain by identifying the supplier’s status quo in order to reveal deficiencies – or to accredit good suppliers. In this respect, audits contribute to the responsible procure- ment of of goods goods and and services services and help to to improve the the eco ecological and social standards of the supplier. Here is an overview of the different types of audits, their implementation and their benefits. Finding the right concept With the help of audits, companies are examined to as- certain whether pprocesses, p , applied pp requirements q and guide g - lines meet defined standards. Audits are conducted by specially trained auditors. The auditor, for example, examines the documentation or the processes in the company using the audit plan and prepares an audit report with his findings and recommendations. Following a successful audit, a certificate can be issued. Depending on the audit programme, further audits may be undertaken to either review the implementation of the recommendations or to audit the company at fixed intervals once the certificate has expired. For example, in the case of an ISO 9001 certification, the certificate is valid for three years. There are many audit concepts in the marketplace and it is certainly not easy to identify an optimal concept. Experts such as Intertek can assist here – with a risk analysis, the selection of a suitable audit programme as well as with its implementation. As one of the world’s largest providers of audit solutions, Intertek is accredited for many audit programmes. continued on page 26 >> development 25

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