Signature of a good practices charter between principals and SMEs
On Thursday February 11th 2010, at Bercy, the THALES Group signed a good practices charter between principals and SMEs under the aegis of Christine Lagarde, Minister of Finance, the industry and the employment. This followed a request from the mediators for credit to companies and from the Society of Directors and Buyers in France (CDAF).
Along with twenty other large companies who are also signatories, our Group has thus made a commitment to responsible, long-lasting relations, demonstrating progress with regard to its suppliers.
- In practical terms, what does the charter consist of?
The good practices charter between principals and SMEs establishes 10 commitments for responsible purchasing. It is intended to help build, within the context of mutual trust, a balanced relationship between suppliers and their customers, acknowledging and respecting their individual rights and duties.
Essentially, it focuses on:
- Creating a long-lasting relationship between the principal and the SME,
- Facilitating collaboration with strategic suppliers;
- Reducing mutual dependence risks,
- Taking into account, when choosing a supplier, the total cost of the purchase and not only the apparent price,
- Considering the environmental impact;
- Paying attention to the company's territorial responsibility, by seeking to contribute as much as possible to the economic activity of the area in which it operates.
- What will it entail?
Above all, this charter is practical. It is not about vague commitments, but achievable objectives. The volume of purchases effected in France by companies who have signed the charter is around 100 billion euro, that is, 10 to 15 % of total purchases by large French companies. It will thus have a strong impact on our economy.
The charter also provides:
- An SME correspondent for each large signatory company:
Alain Monjaux, was appointed as mediator. In this mission of mediator, he doesn't depend on the Corporate Purchasing Department to avoid being in position of "judge and judged". He is available to contact in case of conflicts or disputes (*)
- Follow-up indicators for each signatory company
A steering committee has been created, co-chaired by the mediators for inter-company and CDAF, and in which the Purchasing Department and the SME correspondent for our Group will take part. This committee will meet at least twice a year to make sure that commitments are effectively realised. The first meeting is planned for April 14th, 2010.