The client considered multiple vendors and solutions for supplier social compliance and sustainability management. Eventually, MetricStream was identified as the right choice based on the advanced capabilities of their solutions, as well as the flexibility of their underlying platform. The client’s needs were very specific and niche. But MetricStream’s platform could be effectively configured to meet those needs.
Today, MetricStream’s solution and platform provide a single, centralized environment for the client to manage and monitor all social compliance and sustainability audits across the global supply chain. The solution streamlines and automates audit activities. It also provides advanced support for both mobile and offline audits. All audit findings, non-conformances, and other issues are consolidated in a single system where they can be tracked and reported in real time.
Below are the key highlights of the MetricStream solution:
A single source of truth for all audit data: The solution provides a cohesive framework to integrate and streamline end-to-end social compliance and sustainability audit activities. When an audit manager decide that a supplier facility needs to be audited, they prepare an audit plan in the MetricStream solution, and send out notifications to internal and third-party auditors, as well as auditees through the system.
The addresses and geo-coordinates of each facility are maintained in the solution, so that auditors can easily locate the site that has to be audited. The auditors then go on-site, access the client’s specific code of conduct checklist within the solution, and enter their audit findings, observations, and compliance scores directly into the system. All non-conformances or issues are classified into pre-defined categories, communicated to the supplier facility, and tracked right up to closure through the solution.
Since all the data is stored in one place, it is easy to search, find, and track. For instance, a few months after an audit is conducted at a facility, an auditor visiting the site for the next audit can quickly pull out the results of the previous audit from the MetricStream solution to determine if the issues and non-conformances identified have been effectively resolved.
User-friendly operating system and interface: The MetricStream solution was configured to provide a simple, intuitive interface, according to the client’s specific requirements. This way, users had no trouble adapting to and using the tool. Easy-to-use navigation controls make it easy to move from one page to the next.
Support for multiple Internet browsers and operating systems: As a web-based tool, the MetricStream solution supports almost all browser combinations, ranging from Windows Internet Explorer (IE) 8, IE9, and IE10, to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. It also supports widely used operating systems including, Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac.
Mobile app for audits: MetricStream’s audit mobile app has greatly improved the ease, agility, and efficiency of social compliance audits, as auditors can now conduct field work on the go, from the convenience of their tablets or mobile devices. They can walk around the supplier facility, entering their findings as they see them, and taking photos and videos as evidence. All the data is automatically integrated with the central audit database where it can be easily tracked by the audit team at the company headquarters.
Offline Audit Briefcase: Since auditors don’t have Internet connectivity in many supplier locations, all they need to do is use MetricStream’s offline audit briefcase. It comes as an app on just about any operating system or Internet browser. Through it, auditors can download their audit forms and checklists onto their tablets or mobile devices before going out into the field. They can then tour the supplier facility, and enter their data as usual. Later, when they connect to the corporate network, their findings are automatically synchronized with the central audit database at the click of a button.
Real-time data consolidation: The system is built with a collaboration feature which allows multiple auditors to work on the same task without impacting each other’s work. For instance, if there are five auditors walking around separately in the same supplier facility, each one can view the findings of the other four in real time on the same audit form. This shared view is essential because all the auditors are evaluating supplier compliance with the same code of conduct. Their responsibilities may be different - but it is very likely that each auditor will observe something that is relevant to the other. For instance, an auditor checking ethics may see an instance of environmental violation at the supplier facility. He or she can immediately capture this data and update the audit form section on environment. In turn, the auditor evaluating environment can see this data, and determine if the incident needs to be inspected further.
Integration with the client’s enterprise systems: The MetricStream solution integrates with multiple IT systems in the client organization, including a supplier information repository, an enterprise data warehouse, a directory services application, and a user account management system. The solution imports and exports data to and from these systems, thereby enriching data reporting and analysis. For instance, it exports all transaction data in real time into the enterprise data warehouse so that users of this system can slice and dice the data to extract important insights, and create comprehensive reports. Similarly, the solution exports supplier audit findings and social compliance metrics into the supplier information respiratory. So, instead of going back and forth between various systems, users get all the supplier data and metrics they need in one place.