Creating a vendor compliance program that is both fair and effective is not easy, and too many companies put too little effort into envisioning and managing their program, says independent consultant Norman Katz, who specializes in the field. To help managers succeed while avoiding excessive costs, Katz has written a new book: Successful Supply Chain Vendor Compliance.
Katz's book is notable for its clear, straightforward style and its practical suggestions. It starts by reviewing the essential elements of a well-run vendor compliance program. It begins with envisioning the goals of the program, and then who will be on the vendor compliance team, what processes and technology will be used, and how exceptions will be handled. The book also recommends metrics and rules for enforcing the program's requirements and identifies potential legal concerns.
The book spends a substantial amount of time discussing how to explain the details of the program to both internal employees and external partners. This includes what types of documents will be required and what materials should be covered in any training programs. Katz does not stop there, however. He also emphasizes that a well-managed vendor compliance program must be governed ethically and with empathy for vendors, including understanding the potential difficulties of meeting the demands the buyer is placing on them.
Katz is no stranger to the task of translating complex and technical supply chain subjects into simple English. He has also authored Detecting and Reducing Supply Chain Fraud, an excerpt of which appeared in the Q2 2016 issue of Supply Chain Quarterly. And he boasts a long track record with understanding, developing, and educating others about vendor compliance programs. He has practical, industry experience both as a consultant and during stints with an apparel company and a medical products manufacturer. Additionally, he helped two industry trade associations—the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions trade association (now part of GS1 US—develop their vendor compliance programs.