Case Study

M&S Supplier Map

Author: Will Wallis - 22nd Sept 2023

Working with M&S

We've been working with the sustainability team at M&S for almost ten years, providing us invaluable insights and inspiration for Origins development.

Core to M&S's requirement was the management of Environmental and Chemical policy audits which set out the standards for all wet processing facilities involved in Marks & Spencer production.

In 2015 we delivered a custom solution to facilitate the process, which had until then relied on spreadsheets and team members painstakingly handling responses and managing supplier onboarding and renewals.

In 2022 when M&S were looking for a more progressive solution, we introduced Origin with its multi-tier supplier profiling capabilities.

As well as handling custom desk-based assessments, Origin met supply chain mapping challenges, captured compliance data, tracked audit frequency, and streamlined certification and policy management.

We’ve had a great experience working with Grouptree on the configuration and implementation of the Origin platform. The team dedicated time to understanding our needs, tailoring the platform to our supply chain and then being on hand to provide training and support us through the launch process.

In-depth knowledge

The sustainability team, technologists and assessors now have additional visibility and details on individual supplier profiles.

They have configured dashboards which notify of any status updates or potential issues, prompting users when actions are required and enabling them to drill down to specific supplier information. By pulling data from external audit frameworks, including the HIGG and ZDHC, the team have in-depth knowledge of their suppliers' social and environmental performance.

Combining different data sources and influences is helping M&S effectively evaluate suppliers, streamline ongoing due diligence and implement improvement plans.

We are really pleased with how intuitive the platform is to use and being able to manage facility onboarding, assessments and audits in one place, all monitored on interactive dashboards is transforming the way we work with our suppliers.

M&S Interactive Supplier Map

Since 2016 M&S has been committed to publishing data within the M&S Interactive Supply Chain Map, disclosing the Tier 1 supply chain across Food and Clothing & Home, including some raw materials such as wool, man-made cellulosic fibres, beef, fish & seafood, dairy, tea and coffee.

The map provides production country and individual factory location information, profiles for sites used by direct suppliers, and other supplier information such as factory location, gender balance among workforces, and whether each factory enables staff to sit on committees or join third-party unions.

To ensure that the map remains up-to-date and easily customisable, M&S migrated it to the Origin platform. The platform provides a flexible data model that allows for easy updates and the addition of new layers.

Main Challenges

One of the main challenges of creating the map was designing an information architecture that could handle the different data reporting requirements for each category. The adaptability of Origin's asset model enabled M&S to configure the different presentation variables without negatively impacting the user experience or administration process.

The Origin platform also provides M&S with a quick and efficient method for finding and updating individual supplier records or importing bulk updates through Excel.

The map is a powerful tool for promoting transparency and accountability in the industry.

It is a core part of M&S's approach to sourcing and reporting transparently on its own-label supply chain practices and operations.

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