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Better Buying & Keystone start sustainable business system

Sep '19
Pic: Better Buying
Pic: Better Buying
Better Buying institute and its partner, Keystone Accountability, are code-signing and piloting a two-way learning loops improvement process between buyers and suppliers with the goal of promoting sustainable business partnerships and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes. They received funding through The Walt Disney’s supply chain investment programme.

Working from Better Buying ratings data, a dialogue between specific buyers and their suppliers will be initiated to identify priority improvable business practices, identify potential solutions, and pilot test the solutions, according to a press release by Better Buying.

Better Buying has been working with retailers and brands to provide data about their purchasing practices and the impacts those have on achieving ethical sourcing goals, such as wages and reduction of excessive overtime. With increased participation of buyers and suppliers, Better Buying is building a strong base of knowledge about what good practices look like and where changes can have big impacts on business.

By documenting changes in buying practices and the meaningful impacts that result, the learning loops system will allow Better Buying to demonstrate the business case for improved purchasing practices. This project will be piloted with selected brands and retailers globally, and their suppliers in Bangladesh and East Asia, with the goal of scaling to all global partners in the future.

The main aim of the learning loops process is to accelerate improvements in purchasing practices by leveraging Better Buying ratings through a facilitated dialogue process. A first step will be selecting the retailers and brands to involve in the first year’s pilot from those that are engaged with Better Buying and have received at least one ratings report of the company’s performance on purchasing practices.

“We recognise that sharing ratings reports will not alone result in better purchasing practices and improved buyer-supplier relationships. The learning loops are intended to be the additional input needed to transform Better Buying ratings into concrete actions to improve buying practices,” Marsha Dickson, president and co-founder of Better Buying said.

“The learning loops will extend the Better Buying ratings into an ongoing process of feedback about progress on moving from ratings to identified issues of joint action, to agreed changes in business practices to test, and finally to assessment of those changes as they are implemented,” David Bonbright, chief executive of Keystone Accountability said.

Apart from developing a business case for improved purchasing practices, the learning loops system will boost suppliers’ confidence that information provided by them about their customers’ purchasing practices is being taken into consideration for improvements. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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September 2019

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