How to implement a Sustainable Supply Chain

Written by: 
Bernd Neufert

Expert in strategic procurement

March 19, 2024
5 min Read

Our clients face three fundamental challenges:

Lack of Expertise:

They have been tasked with the responsibility for the "Supply Chain Act" but do not know where to start, and there is no one else in the company who could support them.

Lack of Time:

They are already more than fully occupied with day-to-day business. There is no time for additional tasks, especially when it is just another administrative job.

Lack of Budget:

For the aforementioned points, the question of budget arises very quickly. Given the assumption that compliance does not sell a single kilo more product, the budget is usually very tight.

You now have the option to somehow quickly wrap up the task. This usually leads to silo solutions, which in the medium term lead to frustration, conflicts, and a high workload from routine tasks while the actual job is neglected. And most often, such quick-and-dirty solutions end up yielding no usable result.

We recommend planning the "Supply Chain Act" project with our experts and relying on our resources for implementation.

Software is Essential:

A core element of the Supply Chain Act is the analysis of your direct suppliers. Sooner or later, however, you will also have to deal with the pre-suppliers of your direct suppliers, as your customers directly affected by the SC Act (from 1.1.2024, all companies with >1,000 employees in Germany) will approach you for information. The goal is to visualize (the so-called "Supply Chain Mapping") and scrutinize your entire supply chains.

From our experience, you will not get far with solutions based on Excel or SharePoint. The complexity of the task goes beyond the standards required in the IFS Audit, and for this, you need a professional IT infrastructure.Moreover, it is much more enjoyable to work with professional software and focus on the added value for the team and the company, rather than dealing with lengthy and error-prone routine tasks. Employee motivation is an important element for the success of your project.However, expensive is not always good. Many of our customers report on their projects with expensive software solutions, who then turn to us after a lot of money, time, and frustration.

Consulting Project Sustainable Supply Chains Overview:

We describe the recommended steps below. The steps build on each other but can also run in parallel.

Become Quickly Responsive: Rapid Risk-Based Supplier Analysis:

Typically, you are already confronted with inquiries from your customers about your suppliers. If not, it won't be long.To quickly become responsive, we offer to perform an initial so-called Risk-Based Supplier Analysis based on the available data. This is neither complete nor perfect but quickly puts you in a position to provide initial information - and this is still better for the business relationship with your customers than not being able to provide any answer.You will notice how complicated it can be to pull even a complete list of suppliers from your inventory management system. Since this cannot be a permanent solution, we will work with you on a sustainable solution.

What Do You Want to Know?: Define Data Sources!

When you go through the departments and ask your colleagues which factors should be included in the supplier evaluation, you will quickly have a very long list. The length of the list is less the problem than the source of this information.

Together, we will develop concepts for Risk-Based Supplier Evaluation that are actually feasible, automated, and deliver results at the push of a button.

You should be relieved and not have to deal with even more lists or complicated questionnaires.

Sort and Combine Data: Data Integration via relatico

By data integration, we mean that the following data can be retrieved at the push of a button:

Supplier name

Completeness of material


Sales over the last 3 years

Country of origin.

Anyone who has tried to compile this information automatically knows the effort that must be made. Relatico is designed to integrate and analyze data from different sources. The list mentioned above is infinitely expandable.

Risk-Based Supplier Analysis in 6 Steps:

With our approach to Risk-Based Supplier Analysis in 6 steps, you maintain full flexibility over the process and speed that fits your company. No special IT knowledge is required, and we support you step by step:

Risk-Based Supplier Analysis Approach: identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks, including tracking of measures.

Supply Chains: Research of T2 Suppliers (Supply Chain Mapping):

Where does one get information about T2 suppliers? How can supply chains be sensibly documented and visualized? Who is going to do all this?Anyone who wants to seriously engage in supply chain transparency will not be able to avoid this step. Here, we support you in this process. Experience shows that with good planning, the effort is limited.

Rather, you will gain many new insights into your suppliers and thus lay the foundation for an even more successful cooperation with your business partners. Thus, supply chain transparency quickly becomes self-propelling because it then brings lasting concrete benefits to your purchasing and supplier strategy.

Full Transparency: Development of an Integrated Procurement Dashboard:

Expand your data model to a procurement dashboard. Get data and information about your respective business contacts aggregated and easily understandable at the push of a button.

There are all kinds of procurement and market monitoring information systems. The question always remains how these data can be transferred into your processes (relevance), apart from the costs of such offers.

Our approach is to use your data and, if necessary, combine it with data from our inventory or other sources. This gives you maximum relevance of your analyses and great acceptance among your colleagues in purchasing and quality control.

Highlight the Advantages: Integration into the Procurement Process / Purchase-to-Pay Process:

Especially in medium-sized companies, supply chain transparency and sustainability are often seen as mere compliance tasks. It can be assumed that only those companies that take sustainability and the management of sustainable supply chains seriously and incorporate them into their business processes will survive in the coming years.

What points need to be considered? We support you in this process.

About prepares your company for the future:

  • It ensures complete, automated, and always up-to-date documentation of your supply chains.
  • With, you are always audit-ready – whether unplanned or planned. Rely on the reliability of our software, which allows safe release of suppliers and materials.
  • Our focus is on the practical benefit for your company by digitalizing procurement, quality assurance, and regulatory management. Thus, you efficiently and future-proofly meet the requirements of the Supply Chain Act and other sustainability topics.
  • – Your partner for a sustainable and transparent supply chain.

Easily organize your Suppliers with relatico!
Bernd Neufert
Expert in strategic procurement
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Bernd Neufert
Expert in strategic procurement

We're happy to help!

Bernd possesses extensive experience in strategic procurement, shaped by his tenure at Eckes-Granini, Symrise and DuPont de Nemours. Currently, he is focused on sustainable sourcing and supply chains, collaborating with the relatico team to develop practical software solutions. Additionally, Bernd runs his own agricultural business and is involved in supply chain projects globally.

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