In a world where there are almost as many cell phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people (7 billion), it's no surprise companies are looking to this technology to not only to reach consumers, but also stakeholders throughout their supply chain. Marks & Spencer is once again leading the way, connecting with more than 60,000 workers across 46 manufacturing locations.
Marks & Spencer has partnered with Labor Link to poll workers across its supply chain using mobile technology. The poll surveys workers in five countries on issues like workplace health and safety, worker retention and productivity. It also allows Marks & Spencer to gather information on more sensitive topics, such as working hours and supervisor communications. Through the partnership, the company is able to seek anonymous feedback from workers who might not otherwise feel comfortable voicing their opinions and also see discrepancies between supervisor and worker responses. Based on this information, the retailer will develop training programs and work with suppliers to address issues.
Supply chain issues have been front and center since the major Bangladesh factory collapse in 2013, and many companies are seeking more information about the inner workings of their suppliers. Mobile technology is enabling companies to go straight to the source, to the workers in factories, to find out the true realities of working conditions. The feedback gleaned from this direct connection will help companies with complex supply chains address issues and hold suppliers accountable in a whole new way.