SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN SERVICE DESIGN
User delight refers to an emotional affect that someone has when using a product or service. It might not always be expressed outwardly, but it’s likely to bolster your brand’s position in the market, giving it a competitive edge.
A consumer choosing between competing food products, for example, might be more inclined to buy an item from a brand known for social responsibility. The act of purchase elicits reward if the user feels their purchase has an impact.
The Cape Herb & Spice Company manufactures white-label products for some of the world’s most respected food retailers, including Trader Joes in the USA, Globus in Switzerland, and Loblaws in Canada. It was therefore extremely important for them to demonstrate the highest level of social responsibility in their production processes.
For the user experience, it’s easy to add information to a label on a bottle, stating that the product has been sustainably resourced. It’s more difficult to be able to ensure that all the backstage processes in manufacturing that product live up to the promise.
The supply chain problem
The Cape Herb & Spice Company was confident that their manufacturing facility had fair labour practices and managed environmental waste as efficiently as possible.
But the way food moves from farm to table is complex. There are often several intermediaries, including agricultural coops, merchants, wholesalers and regulatory bodies that monitor food safety standards, organic practices and religious classifications like kosher and halal.
The Cape Herb & Spice Company needed to have a robust method of establishing whether each step in their supply chain shared their commitment to social responsibility.
Quality assurance staff conducted audits of suppliers nearby and procurement staff questioned other suppliers, but evidence was collected haphazardly in audit reports, emails and unrecorded conversations.
Business: The Cape Herb & Spice Company
A robust digital solution
A solution was needed to make it easier for the procurement team to be certain that their suppliers and the organisations supplying their suppliers were also socially responsible. The proof would need to be carefully stored and easily retrieved if requested by ISO or customer auditors.
The paper and email processes were replaced with a new digital solution. Quality assurance staff were able to create online questionnaires that systematically covered all aspects of social and environmental policy. Each question was given a weighted score which would ultimately determine compliance.
The new digital tool captured the contact details of hundreds of suppliers found in the enterprise resource management software. To remain in the database, each of the suppliers needed to complete the online form. If they had a sufficiently good score, they were retained. Quality assurance staff contacted those who failed or had marginal scores to agree on a corrective action plan.
The solution enabled the company to easily perform a first pass audit of all their suppliers. The tool captured the date the questionnaire was completed and prompted the procurement staff to re-send the questionnaire annually. Quality assurance staff were able to use the information to make decisions on a schedule for in-person audits.
The procurement team loved the solution as it made their jobs easier as they always felt confident that they had performed due-diligence. ISO and other food safety auditors who visited the facility were impressed by the solution and, in their feedback, they described it as establishing a new benchmark for good manufacturing practices.