A Compliant Approach
This is a flavour of what the compliance team does around factory and product compliance. It gives context to brand protection, all year round continuity of performance management and our desire to mitigate risk by having an ever increasing presence across our manufacturing environment in China.
Overview on Vendor Compliance
Paladone who have been established more than 23 years are a trusted longstanding wholesale supplier of gifts into the marketplace with a global customer base embracing a wide range of key brands and licenced properties.
To this end we have invested significantly in our resource to manage and reduce the exposure of our clients brands as well as our own and to give the required assurances that the products we bring to the market are fully compliant to those markets whilst fulfilling our clients brand values.
Paladone offers a one stop gifting solution to a wide product portfolio and has established longstanding relationships with the majority of its manufacturers who are continuously monitored to ensure they meet minimum requirements and remain committed to a process of continuous improvement as we invest more business with them.
Every factory we work with has undergone intensive screening to ensure that minimum standards are achieved. We do not simply look at their technical capability but also their investment in the welfare of the workers they employ and the environment in which they operate.
Paladone will initially conduct desktop reviews of all proposed factories having shortlisted those commercially viable and benchmark these to defined standards in accordance to the ETI base code and ISO principles. From there we will mobilise our vendor compliance team in Asia to visit the factory where they will sense check the desktop review and conduct their own risk assessment of the production site. Thereafter appointed 3rd party auditing bodies will be conducting fully comprehensive ethical audits of the sites used. These will either be performed under an ICTI, SMETA, BSCI or SA8000 audit framework.
What Paladone are keen to establish with all suppliers is a greater degree of transparency on standards. With that principle we are not simply grasping a ‘snapshot’ view of a factory on the day of audit but also continuing to drive standards forward as we increase our expenditure with these factories by attending production runs and conducting AQL inspections in order to positive release the goods for shipment. We take these opportunities to identify that good practice has been maintained on site, to follow up on any corrective actions outstanding but also to ensure GMP have been adhered to ensuring their own internal QC procedures are in place and effective.
Paladone continue to invest in their compliance infrastructure to allow for their own employees to be based in China to assist and support our compliance teams with regular factory visits through the year but also to support and help in managing the technical development of some of our more onerous product lines. Here we can expect greater advances still not just with control and guidance for the manufacturing sites but also to push upstream with material suppliers that these factories are buying from further mitigating risk.
All the products that Paladone bring to the market undergo rigorous assessments ensuring from concept to launch that the product and packaging is not just legally compliant but also fit for purpose ensuring that its foreseeable use meets that of all intended user groups. Full technical files are held on every product demonstrating its legal compliance, assured quality as well as its intrinsic safety.
Product & Packaging Screening – Every stage of development undergoes intensive screening by our technologists in both the UK and Asia to ensure that suppliers remain informed of our requirements from the outset. This is communicated across our compliance team in Asia who will continue to ensure the factory and their supply base align in the procurement and handling of materials through to the manufacture and ultimately the shipment of our product offering to the global customer markets we serve.
Detailed safety assessments are performed across all lines by industry experts all of whom have undertaken independent risk assessment training by Intertek and leading industry safety consultants.
Product Testing – With every product assessment comes an independently endorsed testing plan by Intertek Testing Services. Already Paladone invest more than USD400,000.00 per year on ensuring their products and those of their customers and licensed partners are not only legally compliant but fit for purpose and foreseeable use giving our customers total brand confidence in every product that carries the Paladone brand (logo with endorsement stamp etc).
This starts from conceptualisation of our product developers innovative product ideas through to the successful launch with all our customers. Not only are we interrogating product safety, designing out any foreseeable risk but we also define what the intended use is making sure the product is fit for purpose. At this point we work with the suppliers in order that they can define what they believe to be key areas of material and process control such that we have confidence in their understanding of the need to control quality guiding them where needed.
Production Set Up – Paladone firmly believes in a preventative approach to ensuring a good quality framework is adhered too. We have in recent years invested and continue to invest in our team to drive the communication with the factory on both ours and our customers quality expectations. We endeavour to support this approach with well-defined documented photographic quality standards and a sealing process whilst, ensuring the factories clearly map out training to their production operatives on the factory floor producing our goods.
Positive Release – AQL Inspections: A customer discovering a problem with our products is a result of failed quality management. Every effort is made to prevent this from happening in order to drive no only the success of our business for us and our customers but to ensure the consumers positive experience from our brands is maximised. We will ensure acceptable quality standards are achieved at production and randomly inspect all goods produced where risk of non-conformity is deemed to be at its greatest intensifying our efforts as appropriate where needed.