Supply chain partnerships can transform a small business. Quite apart from the opportunity for profit and growth, a successful and collaborative relationship with a reputable organization can open other doors to established markets and channels. The larger organization in turn gains traction from the nimble smaller company it partners with.

However, entering a supply chain agreement can often seem daunting due to its requirements. A supply chain can be a source of both risk and value. Careful attention to the terms of supply chain contracts can help to mitigate its risks while at the same time maximizing value.

How to optimize the supply chain through management systems certification

One of the best approaches to optimize a supply chain is by taking a standards-based approach. Many contracts and supply chains are only open to a standards compliant business which makes certification essential.

There are several management systems certification standards which are beneficial to optimizing supply chain management. They help create good and lasting relationships with supply chain partners. Good communication leads to closer collaboration, with every party benefiting.

With increasing pressure for SMEs to drive sustainability performance in their supply chain, it’s important to ensure that current and potential partners act in a socially responsible manner. Larger companies are increasingly requiring their SME partners to address sustainability and environmental effect of trading/impact of supply chain partnerships. SMEs can utilize ISO 14001 environmental management systems certification to create a framework to benchmark and enhance performance in these areas, while also delivering cost-savings and competitive advantages.

ISO 44001 is a new collaborative working standard. Recognized internationally and applicable whatever your industry or size, it can simplify trade and help improve your market visibility. The standard offers excellent guidance on how to get the most out of working together including cultural and behavioural improvements. 

Being certified to ISO 27001 information security management system is increasingly becoming requested by partners in the supply chain. This standard provides reassurance that you have taken the steps to assess risks in your supply chain, and control and mitigate new threats as they emerge. Protecting systems and data must be a collaborative effort and everyone in the supply chain must play their part. Demonstrating your security credentials builds trust with customers and stakeholders, which could lead to opportunities with larger chain partners.

SMEs can flourish from working with larger supply chain partners. Becoming certified to internationally recognized standards builds strong and trusted partnerships, delivering added value. It gives SMEs confidence, enhances their reputation and delivers consistent performance. Ultimately this makes you stand out from your competitors, helps you win business and retain loyal partnerships.

BM TRADA has a wealth of experience at providing management systems certification services to a range of customers. To talk to a certification expert email us. Click here for information on our training services and here to access the Bookshop where a list of certification standards and guide books can be found.