23 Jan 2018

‘It goes further than just checking everything’

How audits can help us improve the linen chain

Every once in a while, our calendar says: ‘To Turkey!’. Not for our holidays, but to visit our manufacturers. At Blycolin, we like to check ourselves where the chain stands in terms of sustainability. But what does such a trip entail? And what happens afterwards?

Across the border for improvement

We have said it before: we regularly visit our suppliers’ suppliers. In other words, our manufacturers. We do so to improve sustainability, to share knowledge, to represent our customers and to improve relations. We do not only have customers in various countries, but our suppliers and manufacturers are also widespread. To ensure everyone is on the same page, we regularly put in an appearance in numerous countries, among which Turkey.

What does such a visit look like?

Prior to our visit, an independent agency conducts an SA 8000 audit. During this audit, the agency inspects the company for issues such as working hours, wages and safety. The agency produces a report that states whether the company complies with the standards for a healthy working environment and international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report also provides specific information on those subjects and scores. That information is the backbone of the meetings during our visit, and for improvement measures.

Can the words ‘audit’ and ‘personal’ be in the same sentence?

An audit is an independent, clear-cut and professional instrument: it’s all about monitoring, after all. And although that is necessary, we don’t approach these important subjects in a harsh manner only. Sharing knowledge about how to handle things together with the manufacturers and our suppliers are the real steps towards improvement. A personal approach, specifically aimed at the manufacturer’s situation, is indispensable. That is why we travel to our manufacturers ourselves and discuss matters personally.

Yes! Better health, safety and wellbeing

Blycolin only enters into partnerships with manufacturers that already have high standards when it comes to these subjects. Yet, there will always be, as in any organization, room for improvement. Because we stimulate our manufacturers to do so, it is great to see changes have an effect. To see that the reports show that the companies are taking their corporate social responsibility. And, even more concrete, to see with our own eyes during our last trip, that the situation with regard to health, safety and wellbeing has improved even further.

New goals for new results

Results are important, but so are goals. During our last visit, we have therefore determined new goals. And later, during our visit in January 2018, we will elaborate on those goals. In the meantime, we stay in touch, support them with our knowhow and get ready for yet another trip. In December 2017, we will visit India, to see the Chetna project. Improvement is a continuous process, without borders.

Curious in which ways Blycolin works on an honest chain? Or about what you can do yourself? Then please contact us at +31 (0)418 541800 or welkom@blycolin.com