Irrespective of the size of your supply chain, you must ensure that it isn’t the reason your business is non-compliant with the necessary regulations and standards. Yes, it involves a great deal of continued effort, but it’s worth it. If your business is found to be non-compliant due to compliance risks thriving within your supply chain, you will find yourself facing financial losses, loss of reputation, expensive lawsuits, and a lot more. No regulator will cut you any slack for ‘not being aware of prevailing or imminent risks.

Fulfilling your supply chain management obligations begins with being aware of the regulations and standards that govern it. That’s exactly what this blog post aims to help you with. Over the next few minutes, you will understand what supply chain compliance is, the various forms it can take, how major regulations worldwide include it in their mandates, and what measures you can undertake to fulfill supply chain management obligations the right way.

Understanding Supply Chain Compliance

Fundamentally, supply chain compliance refers to an organization’s adherence to the established guidelines and requirements pertaining to tackling every type of risk pervading the supply chain and its ability to meet or exceed the expectations of its stakeholders. The guidelines and requirements can be in the form of:

Achieving, demonstrating, and maintaining compliance with these multiple standards requires comprehensive collaboration with your third-party partners. It’s only fair to say that your business would be able to make it happen only when you and your supply chain are fully aware of the prerequisites for full compliance.

Regulations That Incorporate Supply Chain Compliance

While most regulatory standards and regulations consider supply chain compliance management in one way or the other, some of them incorporate it as a part of their mandates. The Healthcare Portability and Availability Act (HIPAA), the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) are among few regulations that do so.

Let’s look at how these three regulations specify the need for fulfilling supply chain compliance requirements:

Wondering whether non-compliance with these regulations has ever cost a business dearly? Marriott International’s experience of being fined under GDPR for a 2018 data breach shall put your curiosity to rest. In November 2018, security vulnerabilities at the network of a Marriott acquisition – the Starwood Hotels Group (a part of Marriott’s supply chain) – led to the personal data of over 339 million guest records being exposed.

Following a two-year-long investigation, the hospitality giant was initially fined £99 million for the exposure of records of 31 million EEA residents. However, in October 2020, the fine was reduced to £18.4 million due to a range of mitigating factors and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Marriott International had to pay a hefty price for not detecting and mitigating a prudent supply chain risk.

Precautionary Measures You Must Undertake Proactively

Having understood the definition and importance of fulfilling supply chain compliance requirements, it’s time for you to understand a list of precautionary measures you must undertake right away. Start with the ones mentioned below:

 

If you’re wondering how to start implementing the proactive measures we just mentioned, you can start by holding a conversation with us. We’ll map out the whole journey for you and help you through it.

2024