Responsible Global Citizenship in our Supply Chain

We convened a Global Citizenship workshop today here in Shenzhen focused on workplace issues in our supply chain. The participation was great with 15 suppliers and more than 50 attendees including representatives from Dell’s WWP and Sustainability Teams. Jeremy Prepscius, Asia Director of Business for Social Responsibility, provided an inspiring keynote presentation on corporate social responsibility which set the stage for the remainder of the day.

Earlier this year at Dell’s Supplier Conference, Michael Dell and I both talked about how Dell drives for results with our supply chain partners and how we must achieve results the right way. That means ensuring sound environmental practices, employee safety and a high degree of moral and ethical integrity in all that we do. Driving Electronic Industry Code of Conduct standards into our supply chain will make this happen.

We asked our suppliers to sign a letter committing to EICC standards as well as disseminate these principles to their suppliers. EICC membership and benefits information was presented and we encouraged our supplier partners to join and to help drive this industry wide initiative.

Dell has been working directly with suppliers on these matters in 1 X 1 settings and during other business meetings for the past 3 years to disseminate and implement the EICC principles.

Dell’s Business Process Improvement (BPI) methodology was also discussed as a proven, successful means to drive systemic improvements in quality and productivity. We’ve extended this methodology into Global Citizenship and spent the last year in a pilot program with 5 suppliers where BPI projects were used to address employee work hours and days off per month. We asked suppliers at this Workshop to sign up as executive sponsors for a Global Citizenship BPI project to address their most significant EICC area of opportunity.

A few suppliers discussed best practices around implementing EICC. Some have made tremendous strides and already have provided EICC training to their suppliers or have plans to make that happen this year.

We will hold another Global Citizenship Workshop in China later this year focusing on driving EICC awareness and standards deeper into the supply chain where there will be more gaps to these principles and therefore more opportunities for improvement. So expect to hear from me in the fall to report out on the results of that event. Stay tuned…

About the Author: John Naughton