08 Dec Verifying the adoption of best practices in Corporate Responsibility – arvato AG – 2015 Case Study
arvato AG – 2015 Case Study
With mitigating supply chain risk now sitting firmly atop the agenda for the entire technology industry, many companies are exploring new methods for identifying and addressing risk through the responsible sourcing of goods and services.
arvato, a global contact center provider for many of the world’s largest technology companies, was experiencing ever increasing expectations from their large customers to ensure they were operating with the utmost social and environmental responsibility. Microsoft, in particular, was keen to have their key strategic suppliers like arvato become certified to best practice standards like the Verego SRS, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18000, and SA8000 in order to validate that their most important suppliers were operating at the same level of responsibility as Microsoft itself.
This case study describes the experiences of arvato, one of Microsoft’s biggest call center suppliers, as they adopted new corporate responsibility standards by collaborating with Verego, the third-party verification body that was chosen by arvato to assess and certify their Corporate Responsibility (CR) management systems. Additionally, this case study will provide an investigation of arvato’s rationale for choosing to adopt the Verego SRS Standard and highlight the results of aligning their management systems to the Verego Corporate Responsibility Standard (Verego SRS) throughout their journey to full certification in all 5 Areas of the Verego SRS.
CHOOSING THE VEREGO SRS CERTIFICATION – ARVATO’s PERSPECTIVE
Since the Verego SRS was not the only option for going above and beyond Microsoft’s expectations, arvato needed to choose between the world’s leading certifiable standards for Corporate Responsibility: ISO 14001 for environment, OHSAS 18001 for Health & Safety, and SA8000 for Labor Practices. Although robust and globally recognized, these standards were developed around manufacturing processes and in many cases were not so relevant to the global service-based operations of arvato. Besides their lack of applicability to arvato’s operations, having to achieve 3 different certifications at once to cover the spectrum of Corporate Responsibility would have created redundancies in auditing efforts and the multiple sites visits would have resulted in significant costs. Alternatively, Verego’s SRS certifiable standard covered the entire spectrum of CR, was flexible enough to apply to arvato’s service-based business model, and the cost-effective site validation of the certification process reduced the total 3-year cost compared to the others by almost 70%.
Verego SRS Certification Assessment Process Steps
- Project Onboarding arvato and Verego first collaborated on the project scope, including the sites, the timeline, and the responsibilities of both parties. Verego also introduced the assessment tools that aided arvato in the overall certification process.
- Complete Application Using the assessment tools, arvato collected documentation evidence for each section of the Verego SRS Standard which was then submitted to the assessment team at Verego for review and validation.
- Gap Analysis After reviewing the submitted evidence, the Verego assessment team highlighted sections of the arvato’s CR practices that were in con-compliance with the SRS Standard. The reasoning and preliminary scores were compiled into arvato’s Pre-Impact Report.
- Validate Implementation An Employee Survey was launched to understand the awareness and implementation of arvato’s CR performance at each of its sites. Additionally, one Site Lead from each site was also interviewed and responsible for submitting site-specific evidence for verification.
- Final Certification Results The Verego assessment team combined arvato’s latest round of submitted documentation with the Site Validation results to create a final Impact Report. Passing AREAs earned Certification Awards, while others were considered Conditionally Certified due to arvato’s formal commitment to close them within 180 days.
- Additional Support Verego supported arvato to implement improvements to their gaps through adopting best practices, which ultimately achieved full certification in all 5 Areas.
- Verego offers a cost effective certification with a suite of project management tools and assessment software streamlines the overall audit and certification process.
- Verego’s integrated system of assessment, support, and certification enables targeted, value-add improvements to best practices of CR management systems within the market.
- Verego’s SRS Standard focuses on the validation of key Management Systems, which is the best option for promoting continuous improvement and reducing potential non-compliances.
- Verego is a potentially zero-cost solution for Buyers when used as a certification requirement for their supply chain.
- Verego also offers an Assurance Program (VAP), which allows Buyers to further evaluate and manage their supplier social responsibility performance through a series questionnaires