Avoiding the CAP Trap
The first step towards social performance improvement starts with the corrective action plan. If done with some thought and purpose, the corrective action plan can put buyer and supplier on the same page and serve as a basis for real improvement. However, it is easy for companies to fall into process mode where the only goal is to close open items on the CAP. Company policy often drives it in this direction by requiring CAP closure within prescribed and often unrealistic timeframes.
The nature of the findings make it difficult to make CAP’s meaningful. Excessive hours, underpayment of wages and social insurances are examples of findings from a typical audit which are not the illness, but rather the symptoms. If the factory agrees to treat the symptoms, but not the illness, the factory will not get better. The reality though is that today’s typical CAP is woefully inadequate to begin a process of improvement. It tends to lack any meaningful root cause analysis, no attempt to figure out costs associated with addressing the compliances and there is no effort to understand worker views. Is the CAP the right mechanism? And if so, what needs to be done to make it a stronger tool for improvement.
Join Ian Spaulding as he looks at a variety of scenarios for how CAP’s may and can evolve.