A Better Way to Track Supplier Safety & ESG Certifications

publication date: Sep 15, 2022
author/source: Kari Hensien


The past few years have been devastating for restaurants, as we've navigated a global pandemic and its ongoing repercussions. We're still dealing with the fallout, including labor shortages, high inflation, and supply chain disruptions. And, despite these challenges, restaurants still need to ensure that they're doing the right things to keep their restaurants, guests, community, and planet safer.

Safety and sustainability need to be prioritized, but it can feel overwhelming to manage these efforts - plus handle everything else that comes with running a restaurant! Sometimes, it can feel like we're trying to balance spinning plates on sticks that are on fire.

Why is this effort so important?

Even though restaurants are busy (and short-staffed!) they still need to prioritize safety and ESG efforts. As part of this initiative, they must determine whether their suppliers are practicing proper safety protocols and supporting ESG goals. This is important because:

  • Companies need to know where their food is coming from, if it's safe, and if it meets the latest ESG guidelines.
  • If you don't build and manage a meaningful supplier program, it puts your organization at risk.
  • If restaurants can't properly identify inefficient, unreliable, unsafe suppliers, it can be very costly in terms of money, time, and your restaurant's reputation.
  • Investors, regulators, and consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable organizations, practices, and products.
  • As an industry, we must address environmental issues like soil degradation, water and energy waste, the use of harmful pesticides, climate change, and deforestation. We should also prioritize ESG issues like racial and gender equality, DEI, sustainable business practices, and fair trade.

How can restaurants easily manage certifications for all their suppliers?

Many restaurants try to manually manage their suppliers' paperwork and certifications, but this is a tedious, time-consuming, error-prone, and labor-intensive chore. It's nearly impossible to manually assess piles of certifications from all your vendors, while keeping track of important deadlines.

In the past, software solutions were a step up from manual systems, but they were unaffordable and unattainable for most restaurant brands. Additionally, these tools were extremely expensive, complicated, and difficult to operate, requiring extensive training.

Luckily, things have changed. Today's tech solutions are modern, easy to use, affordable, accessible for restaurants of all sizes and budgets. They can help restaurant operators organize supplier certifications into a system they can easily see and manage.

Today's tech tools:

  • Are disrupting traditional market software since they're user-friendly, accessible, and cost-effective. Now, it's finally possible for smaller companies to compete with giant corporations.
  • Allow restaurant brands to gather, organize, and manage supplier documentation and information in a centralized location.
  • Track supplier safety certifications so operators can clearly see which suppliers are committed to strong safety and ESG practices.
  • Help operators make more informed decisions about which suppliers to work with - and which to avoid - based on their commitment to safety and ESG.

You're only as good as the company you keep

Increasingly, restaurants are prioritizing ESG initiatives, which includes reducing their environmental impact, committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, eliminating single use plastics, and buying responsibly sourced products.

While that's amazing and important, it's not enough. As the saying goes, you're only as good as the company you keep. You could be using sustainable packaging, reducing waste, etc., but then working with irresponsible suppliers. Therefore, many restaurants are examining their supply chains, opting to work only with suppliers whose ESG values are aligned with their own.

Restaurant brands need to better manage their suppliers' certification status to gain important transparency through every step of their supply chains. This will help them determine whether their suppliers are properly certified around both safety protocols and ESG efforts.

Today's software tools allow operators to:

  • Track which suppliers are committed to strong safety and ESG practices.
  • See task and certification status for all suppliers or drill down to view by supplier, location, or material.
  • Learn more about where their suppliers source their raw materials, how they're being processed, and what practices they follow.
  • Manage numerous vendors, certifications, and deadlines in an easy, accurate, cost-effective manner.
  • Streamline processes to save time, and reduce redundancies, errors, and data entry for a more efficient, accurate experience.
  • Implement easily and be up and running in minutes, with no onboarding or training required.
  • Reduce time-consuming administrative tasks.

Restaurant leadership has clearly had significant disruption over the past few years, but as the pandemic dust settles, our industry is intensifying safety and ESG efforts. This is clearly the right thing to do for our customers, employees, businesses, industry, community, and planet. It can also help our bottom-lines, attracting new customers, employees, and investors. There's no downside to doing what's right, so let's all step up to be part of the solution.

Kari HensienAs President of RizePoint, the longest-lasting quality management vendor in the marketplace, Kari Hensien has been instrumental in launching the company's IgniteTM Supplier Certification Management solution and adding new features to make the platform even more valuable. Ignite allows companies to gather, organize, and manage supplier documentation and information in a centralized location, track status and deadlines, ensure compliance, and reduce time-consuming administrative tasks. Ignite leverages the latest tech stacks in cloud computing to deliver better speed of service, security, and performance, with shortened development cycles. For more information or to discuss RizePoint's solutions, please contact Kari at kari.hensien@rizepoint.com.