Closer collaboration with suppliers

Isaura de Albuquerque-Rodrigues

Global Procurement & Supply Chain Director, Performance Group, Orange

One of the keys to building our long-term performance, meeting our sustainable development objectives and keeping our costs under control is to enhance our relationships with our 77,000 suppliers spread across more than 50 countries.

In a move to increase efficiency, we set up the joint venture BuyIn with Deutsche Telekom in 2011 to pool our strategic industrial procurement needs (such as network equipment). As BuyIn caters to both groups, it increases our leverage in negotiations, generates economies of scale and gives us a competitive advantage on the procurement side.

In addition, Orange has decided to foster a relationship of transparent cooperation with its suppliers in order to increase efficiency throughout the value chain and expand mutual benefits. Developing win-win relationships is one of our overarching goals today and for the future. Deepening ties and strengthening relationships based on trust is key to implementing our strategy for responsible purchasing and sustainable performance. That is why we have been working for years to make our CSR values a part of our daily practices and our relationships with suppliers. They are a source of innovation and a significant factor in our performance.

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Therefore, we have to explain our CSR standards to our suppliers and their subcontractors to help them understand, embrace and share them, and ensure everyone upholds them. The only way we can do this is with more transparency and teamwork. That is one of the goals of the JAC (Joint Audit Cooperation) initiative co-founded by Orange. The initiative brings together 16 operators who, together, represent 2.7 billion end users worldwide, and 50% of international telecoms revenue. The JAC employs a shared methodology and checklist based on the subjects of employees, the environment, health, safety and corporate ethics. We share audits made at the work sites of our shared suppliers. The suppliers, for their part, also benefit. For example, they are no longer subjected to multiple audits with different requirements. The JAC also provides a simple channel to share best practices, fuelling progress throughout its worldwide network. This enhances and reinforces operators’ entire supply chains.

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