The Foundation for Strategic Sourcing (F4SS) Announces Major Initiative to Improve Process by which Consumer Products Companies Conduct Quality Audits—Significant Benefit

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AuditOne, the F4SS quality audit harmonization initiative, is being launched as a pilot program in cooperation with F4SS members, global industry giants: Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, and L’Oreal. F4SS intends to open this program to all consumer products companies and their suppliers; anticipating the initiative will have a broad and far-reaching impact on the FMCG/CPG industry, benefitting those within the industry as well as end-consumers worldwide.

“This is one of the most significant opportunities in the industry today, one that we have been working on for many years. FMCG/CPG non-foods providers have largely been on their own when it comes to quality audit specifications."

The Foundation for Strategic Sourcing (F4SS) is pleased to announce a major initiative intended to simplify, standardize, and streamline the process by which consumer products companies conduct quality audits with suppliers. AuditOne, the F4SS quality audit harmonization initiative, is being launched as a pilot program in cooperation with F4SS members, global industry giants: Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, and L’Oreal. F4SS intends to open this program to all consumer products companies and their suppliers. It anticipates that the initiative will have a broad and far-reaching impact on the FMCG/CPG industry, benefitting those within the industry as well as end-consumers worldwide.

In a supporting statement, Gale Beckett, Vice President of Quality Assurance for Procter & Gamble, said, "In line with our commitment to providing consumers superior quality and value, we fully support AuditOne. This will help enable our supply chain to more efficiently deliver the high quality standards we demand for our consumer-preferred products around the world.”

Mark Genco, Vice President Quality for L’Oreal Americas, expressed similar views: “As the world's leading cosmetics company, L'Oréal's success has been based on providing quality and innovation to our consumers. The F4SS initiative will provide an efficient and collaborative way to assure the quality of raw materials and components necessary for us to continue to give our consumers the positive product experience they deserve.”

Currently, consumer products companies develop and manage their own quality audit programs to ensure that their suppliers are meeting quality expectations and regulatory requirements. These quality audit programs, with similar objectives, require industry suppliers to host multiple audits and comply with individual reporting procedures to meet the compliance standards established by each customer. AuditOne seeks to develop a single set of quality standards and audit processes. Addressing the challenges of this initiative, Franziskus Kath, Vice President Source Quality at Johnson & Johnson Consumer, said, “Uncompromising quality requires stringent audit standards. Agreeing on industry-wide standards is no small feat. As an industry leader, we see this as an opportunity to create new supply chain value, spur innovation and ultimately to create superior options for consumers.”

As the initiative gains wide spread adoption beyond the four pilot companies, F4SS expects the quality audit process to be streamlined to one annual audit for a supplier that would meet the requirements of multiple customers. In addition to reduced compliance costs, F4SS believes that suppliers worldwide will benefit from having clear, better-defined quality standards that are globally recognized by the FMCG/CPG industry. Bill Smith, the President of KIK Custom Products and a supplier to consumer products companies, agrees, “Collaboration in the area of consistent and meaningful quality standards will drive improved operational efficiencies and ensure the end consumers continue to receive the highest quality product available to the market. F4SS has been a driving force to work with the CPG companies, and their supply base to achieve this goal. We are on the brink of a new and exciting time related to industry collaboration that will only serve to improve the overall quality, cost and shelf availability of excellent products.”

The organization predicts that the time and energy currently required to host multiple audits will be re-directed by suppliers towards improved compliance and continuous improvement efforts.

AuditOne will be implemented in phases, starting with upstream component and material suppliers. Later phases are designed to reach all aspects of the supply chain and delivery systems. Approved standards for material suppliers can be found on the F4SS website. F4SS is leading the identification of independent audit firms and has also listed those approved on its website. The organization will manage a secure platform for the sharing of audit results between suppliers and their customers.

With the backing and support of four leading companies, and by moving in phases, F4SS believes AuditOne will find wide acceptance.

“This is one of the most significant opportunities in the industry today, one that we have been working on for many years. FMCG/CPG non-foods providers have largely been on their own when it comes to quality audit specifications,” said Lisa Shambro, Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Strategic Sourcing. She continued, “With a membership base composed of CPG / FMCG companies, we are a logical group to drive this effort. It is an excellent example of the value F4SS provides our industry and members.”

About the Foundation for Strategic Sourcing (F4SS)
The Foundation for Strategic Sourcing (F4SS) is a collaborative, non-profit membership organization composed of FMCG/CPG companies and supplier networks of contract manufacturers and related companies. Focused on increasing collaboration, lowering barriers, and enabling innovation, F4SS members share a common goal of improving supply chain efficiency and creating value for the ultimate consumer of their products. More information on F4SS can be found at http://www.f4ss.org.

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