First Look: Improving Buyer-Supplier Engagement to Disrupt Forced Labor in Apparel
March 31, 2021
GFEMS is working with Social Accountability International (SAI) to develop an innovative buyer-supplier engagement platform to improve buyer purchasing practices and supplier capacity/production planning in India’s ready-made garment industry, with the intent of interrupting factors that drive forced and bonded labor. GFEMS has partnered with the Athena-Itad consortium to review this intervention.
Within this project, SAI seeks to address issues related to ordering and capacity in a supply chain via a comprehensive platform that helps suppliers, including those at the lower-tiers, improve their production-capacity planning and labor practices. In turn, suppliers will gain access to buyers who commit to provide business incentives. The key component of this innovation-focused project is the Supplier Capacity Platform that includes:
- A production capacity calculator that incorporates an expanded set of indicators such as worker productivity, skill levels, and shift optimization to help estimate production capacity and improve planning on the buyer as well as the supplier side
- Methods to quantify the effects of purchasing practices on supplier production capacity, to help buyers and suppliers better predict supplier capacity and the likelihood of sub contracting.
On this platform, suppliers can showcase their business capabilities and report their production capacity and buyers can book capacity and ensure that their order does not overextend a factory.
This “first look” case study measures progress towards sustainable model for reduction of the prevalence of modern slavery and will inform the scalability and efficacy of the intervention.