Pre-Audit Factory Evaluations
Before we enter into a supplying relationship with a vendor, they are required to acknowledge the Sears Code of Vendor Conduct by signing and returning our Universal Terms and Conditions. In addition, Sears Canada conducts factory evaluations on selected facilities to ensure the factory has appropriate equipment, processes, skill sets and resources to produce a quality product. Either Sears or an independent auditor performs this evaluation to confirm that the supplier’s factories meet our requirements.
Supplier Compliance Audit Program
We systematically conduct regular audits through our Supplier Compliance Audit Program. A Supplier Compliance Audit is a comprehensive review of the working conditions and workplace practices of our vendors and their factories. The audits ensure that our vendors comply with our Code of Vendor Conduct and follow specific corrective processes when improvement is required. Factories subject to a Supplier Compliance Audit are expected to permit Sears auditors or representatives to interview factory workers and management, review payroll and other documents, and tour the operations of the factory.
Working with Sears auditors, Sears evaluates and monitors factories to ensure compliance with the laws of the country in which they are operating.
Factory Improvement Process
We are committed to building sustainable relationships with our vendors and working to improve conditions for workers through our Factory Improvement Process. We believe that it is important to engage with our vendors rather than simply terminating relationships based on non-compliance. We know that terminating a relationship with a supplier impacts the lives of the supplier's employees directly, and they are the very people our supplier compliance program is designed to protect.
Ideally, we work with our vendors directly to resolve issues so that the relationships may continue. In instances where a supplier does not pass an audit, Sears Canada provides a Corrective Action Plan outlining the deficiencies and providing the supplier with a specific deadline to respond with a resolution and timeline indicating when it will be completed. Follow-up audits are then scheduled. Vendors are provided with up to two additional opportunities to meet our compliance standards at which time termination of the relationship is reviewed.