Purchasing practices include a wide range of decisions and behaviors of corporate staff in buying, product development, sourcing, and other business functions of brands and retailers that have impact on the ability of suppliers to provide good factory working conditions. Examples of purchasing practices that are especially challenging include constantly fluctuating forecasts and differences between actual orders and capacity booked; failure to meet critical deadlines, such as handing off technical specifications; prices that do not cover compliant production; failure to pay for orders as contractually agreed; and lack of incentives to achieve compliance requirements.
The overarching goal of Better Buying is to transform buyer purchasing practices so that business relationships support suppliers in providing decent workplace conditions. To achieve this goal, Better Buying disseminates data on the detailed purchasing practices of buying companies and works with stakeholders to accelerate industry-wide improvements. Ratings of individual buyer company purchasing practices are submitted by suppliers, average scores of a minimum of 5 suppliers are computed to protect anonymity. Reports from the data are then issued to buyers, and to the public on a schedule that encourages a “race to the top”.
The Better Buying initiative has completed its 18-month feasibility study and is entering the startup phase. The initial rating period will begin in the fall 2017. For more information about Better Buying, see: www.betterbuying.org.