5.2 Tracking Systems & Databases
For large and complex supply chains there can be a similarly large and complex set of associated data. This leads to the need for a supply chain database, which can range from a simple paper record to complex software. Generally speaking, the more complex the supply chain (that is, the greater the number of suppliers and products involved), the greater the need for a database.
The most cost-effective way to proceed can often be through the adaptation or use of existing systems, such as quality control or accounting systems. The database should, through associated questionnaires, identify the species, source and volume or value of forest products for each product, supply chain and process. A database is only as good as the data entered. The best source of data for a purchaser of forest products is the supplier.
The Minimum Recommended Content for a Database
Effective monitoring of the sourcing organization's compliance with its policies requires that the following information be collated from the sourcing organization's direct suppliers:
|Data field description||Comment on data required|
|Supplier name||Name or code used within the sourcing organization's accounting system|
|Supplier contact details||Name of contact who supplied the requested data|
|Products supplied||List of products obtained from this supplier, or generic description of products supplied|
|Forest sources used||The name and location of the forest management unit (FMU) or major processing unit|
|Timber species used||The trade name and Latin name of each timber species used|
|Evidence of forest management provided||Information from first, second, or third parties that provides information on the quality of forest management|
|Policy compliance||Confirmation that all the sourcing organization's policies are complied with|
|Chain of custody (COC)||Information regarding use of third-party COC systems, including COC number(s)|
|Legal verification||Information regarding use of third-party legal verification systems.|
|Status of forest sources||One of the following:
|Volume and value of material supplied||Measured in cubic meters, tons, other units and/or financial value supplied over a defined period, and give equivalent in cubic meters if other units are used (including conversion factor used)|
|Date information supplied||To allow periodic reviews|
|Review date||The date at which this information must be updated by the supplier|
|Action plan for this supplier||Not every supplier will satisfactorily complete the questionnaire at the first attempt. Missing information should be obtained through an action plan, with timelines and deliverables, that is mutually agreed to with the supplier.
Action plan should contain targets in the SMART format.
|Risk rating or performance rating||Based on the information supplied (or not), an assessment of the risk to the organization presented by the supplier.|
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