Unilever Supplier Qualification System

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USQS: Making it easier to do business with Unilever

"Unilever is committed to rapidly growing our business. We will maintain a strong focus on supply chain efficiency, cash and costs, while driving a new vision of sustainable, profitable growth. We expect our suppliers to work with us in achieving ambitious growth and sustainability targets and encourage you to join us on the journey." –
Marc Engel, Unilever Chief Procurement Officer

Unilever’s ambitious growth agenda means that across the 170 countries in which we sell our products, our Procurement teams are purchasing from many thousands of suppliers worldwide. We have made the strategic decision to introduce a new global process to qualify, approve and manage the complexity of our supplier information.

This new process – Unilever Supplier Qualification System (USQS) - will make the process of doing business with Unilever easier. The use of the USQS will enable us to streamline the way we engage with suppliers in different locations, qualify them to the same set of standards and share that information amongst our internal teams. Overall, we anticipate this will reduce cost, time and effort involved in doing business for both Unilever and our suppliers.

What does USQS mean to Unilever

Unilever has developed the Unilever Supplier Qualification System (USQS) to provide Unilever with a holistic view of our entire global supply base.

Unilever’s Supplier Qualification System (USQS) is a single system that enables all suppliers to Unilever to demonstrate their capabilities in meeting Unilever’s policies and standards.

With USQS, Unilever business teams can use the information to:

  • Identify suppliers for the products and services they want to buy
  • Better understand the potential risks of buying products or services in all geographies
  • Encourage improvements in supplier standards

The system will streamline the supplier qualification process, enhance our risk management and position us to comply with future changes to regulations and legislation on a global basis.

What does USQS mean to Suppliers

We require all suppliers to register with USQS in order to conduct and maintain business with Unilever. We anticipate that the new process will add value to you, too. Joining the system is the first step to become qualified to work with Unilever or continue to do business with us wherever you are located.

Potential for more visibility with Unilever buyers – The entire global Procurement will be able to view your company’s offerings and capabilities.

Enter data only once - You will no longer need to provide standard qualification data to different Unilever teams multiple times. The process will collect and keep your company information in the USQS and request that you update your company profile annually or whenever there are relevant changes in your business. Our Procurement teams will be able to access and view the data you provided to produce a short list of qualified suppliers for upcoming purchasing events, with the knowledge that they have the most up to date information of your business.

Benefits at a glance:

  • Become qualified to work with Unilever
  • “One-Stop-Shop” - save money, time and avoid duplication of effort. You will achieve greater internal Unilever visibility as your company information will be available to all Unilever business teams.
  • Demonstrate your capabilities and qualification data. The USQS is a secure environment to share and update your information. It is available in all time zones and supports multiple languages.
  • Support from the back-office teams to help answer your queries and give guidance to help you qualify.

How the USQS works

If you are new supplier to Unilever, you will receive a code as part of the on-boarding process to our business under direction from Unilever Procurement. All current suppliers will have received a code to access the system.

The USQS will ask basic information on your company (ie. information on the headquarters location, parent company information (if applicable), legal holding company (if applicable), factory locations and materials or services supplied to Unilever. In addition, you can upload quality certificates (if your sites are certified to the range of external quality standards recognised by Unilever)). The USQS also requests you acknowledge Unilever’s Supplier Code and provide Unilever with information on your company’s policies that align with our Code. It will take roughly 30 minutes to complete.

Unilever’s Compliance Overview

The information provided will ensure Unilever Procurement professionals have full visibility of your capabilities in meeting its global standards for Supplier Quality Approval (SQA) and Responsible Sourcing Programme (RSP). USQS provides a single portal to integrate the key information Unilever requires for SQA and RSP.

Supplier Quality Approval (SQA)

  • Unilever requires that all the manufacturing sites of its suppliers operate to a Quality Management System appropriate for the supply of materials used in the manufacture of consumer goods.
  • Unilever recognises a range of external standards that are relevant to the industrial base of its suppliers, and promotes the use of external certifications wherever possible.
  • If suppliers do not hold an external certification, then Unilever may, where required, request that the supplier undertake an SQA audit using a qualified, third -party auditor.

Responsible Sourcing Program (RSP)

  • Unilever’s Responsible Souring Program is designed to ensure that suppliers to its business have the capability to meet the requirements of Unilever’s Supplier Code.
  • Unilever ’s Supplier Code requires compliance with a set of standards aligned with national laws and internationally accepted norms in the four key areas of:
    • Labour standards
    • Health and safety
    • Environmental compliance
    • Business integrity
  • In line with many of our industry peers, Unilever is a member of the SEDEX organisation, which enables suppliers from many sectors to complete their site assessments or audits and share them with other customers using the system thereby reducing duplication of effort.
  • If Unilever requires a supplier to have a Responsible Sourcing Audit, we will either request the use of the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Four Pillar Audit or we may accept an audit report from a previous audit to another standard used by our industry peers, if we recognise the scope to be equivalent.
  • Unilever may therefore request that you also join Sedex and benefit from the efficiencies of being able to share your assessment data with other customers.

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