Can Improving Supplier Relationships Really Improve Compliance?

Can Improving Supplier Relationships Really Improve Compliance?

The landscape of chemical management compliance can be a challenging process for both suppliers and brands-- necessitating effective Supply Chain Management.

Monitoring chemical management compliance throughout your supply chain is a complex process that requires time. There is a great deal of work involved, such as:

  • Collecting supplier data;
  • Measuring that information against constantly changing MRSLs;
  • Integrating audit and test results; and
  • Planning and tracking corrective action.

However, the challenge presented by this complexity can be mitigated by effective Supply Chain Management (SCM).

One key element of good SCM is building highly communicative relationships with suppliers. The stronger your relationship with your suppliers—and the more they feel they can rely on your support—the more able and willing they will be to comply with the chemical management standards your brand aspires to.

There are three main advantages to developing these relationships: setting expectations, using shared platforms and discovering win-win opportunities.

Setting Expectations

Chemical compliance can be as complicated for suppliers as it is for brands. Suppliers face different demands from each of their customers and have to assess and implement the requirements of multiple MRSLs and other chemical standards.

If your brand sets clear and precise expectations about what you are trying to achieve, you can considerably reduce the research and preparation work that your suppliers need to do.

Consider supporting them by:

  • Providing them with all the details of the standards you expect them to adhere to.
  • Advising on best practices or specific implementations that they can put in place to ensure compliance.
  • Where possible, bring suppliers into your decision-making processes when considering changes to your chemical management that might affect them.

If you give your suppliers as much information as possible, you put them in the best position to improve their compliance and meet your standards.

Sharing Platforms

Of course effective communication between brands and their suppliers is important, but what does that look like in practice?

Different methods of communication work well in different contexts, and it is important to individually assess which areas of communication with each supplier could be improved in your case.

One method that can solve many common problems is the use of shared software platforms. Platforms such as CleanChain, an ADEC Innovation, provide a variety of tools that make it easier for suppliers to share compliance data. For example, CleanChain automatically populates a dashboard for each supplier, allowing brands to review all supplier compliance data at a glance. Meanwhile, suppliers are able to keep track of all their compliance obligations in one place with the compliance list feature.

Using a shared platform to automate these more rote elements of communication frees up more time for both brand and supplier to spend on higher-level issues, such as performance reviews and compliance strategy.

Discovering Opportunities

Improving compliance can lead to an array of benefits for suppliers. As more and more consumers and investors are making their decisions based on ethical and environmental concerns, putting systems in place to ensure compliance in an emotive area such as the use of hazardous chemicals will allow suppliers to get ahead of this demand and appeal to these stakeholders. It also puts them a step ahead of chemical regulations, which are becoming continually more stringent in most parts of the world and increases their transparency to potential new clients.

A more communicative relationship with a supplier allows a brand to make these opportunities clearer to them, incentivizing them to put time and resources into improving compliance. Brand and supplier can work together towards taking advantage of those opportunities while also attaining the brand’s compliance goals.

Maintaining good relationships with suppliers is one of the key tenets of effective SCM, and it also has many advantages for brands looking to improve their suppliers’ compliance with chemical management standards. By communicating effectively and consistently with your suppliers, your brand will be well on its way to achieving its chemical management compliance goals.


CleanChain, an ADEC Innovation, helps you gain visibility and insights into the chemical use in your supply chain. Want to find out more? Book a free demo with us today to find out how CleanChain can help you engage your supply chain and improve your chemical management initiatives. 

Blog Author

Alex Donovan photo

Having worked in both traditional environmental science positions on the East coast after graduating from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island, and in software and emerging technology as analyst on our CleanChain team in California, Alex is persistent about achieving a more just, sustainable world through her work.