Successful management of your supply chain for custom retail displays relies on careful planning, disciplined oversight, and unwavering attention to detail. But even the best-planned programs can come up against unanticipated hurdles.

Learning with little notice that you will have to undergo an audit or face additional material testing is an unpleasant surprise at best. At worst, it’s tens of thousands of dollars in audit and rework costs, missed deadlines, and a damaged relationship with your retail buyer.

In recent years, retailers have become stricter about requiring compliance audits for a wide array of requirements, including environmental compliance, source compliance, and government requirements.

With preparation, however, you can avoid costly delays and cancellations, and prevent missteps that strain your credibility and retailer relationships.

Best Practices

Here are five best practices for preventing disruption to your program from audit or testing requirements.

1. Be prepared: retailers are increasingly requiring audits of both domestic and offshore factories.

2. Be sure to select materials that will pass any government or retail testing.

3. Be aware of government and retailer guidelines on testing and cross reference them with all raw materials. Tests to enforce restrictions on cotton sourced from regions of Asia include DNA-level scrutiny to determine the source of cotton.

4. Be prepared for retailer audits to ensure the legitimacy of manufacturing, ethics, structure, and environmental compliance. These audits may not be announced ahead of time so staying prepared for these audits is essential for preventing delays. Do your own due diligence with all vendors in every link of your supply chain. Download our Offshore Vendor Qualifying Checklist here.

5. Avoid quality control shortcuts. Diligent QC processes are critical to maintaining retailer trust and should not be outsourced. Buyers may request factory audits to make sure products are sourced from approved factories. If you’re not prepared, you can find yourself facing expensive remediation and months of delay.

Common CPG Audit Types

  • Manufacturing Audit
    Ensures a factory is able to manufacture a product to standards with no critical oversights or delays
  • Ethical Audit
    Verifies compliance with requirements for providing fair, safe and ethical workplace conditions
  • Structural Audit
    Verifies a manufacturing facility’s compliance with fire and other safety codes
  • Environmental Audit
    Verifies compliance with local and national environmental protection requirements, which may include lab testing
  • Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Audit
    Led by U.S. Customs & Border Protection, this audit assesses the adequacy of security against terrorism threats
  • Food Supplier Audit
    Reviews food hygiene and manufacturing practices to ensure food safety and consumer confidence

Partner with TPH to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

When you partner with TPH Global Solutions, you won’t have to lose sleep over quality control. We have decades of experience making it easy for brands to navigate the demands and challenges of mounting a successful retail display program, including compliance with retailer and government audits.

With end-to-end project oversight that includes project and supply chain management, logistics and transportation, along with custom retail packaging and displays, we work to ensure that your campaigns are trouble free, retailer compliant, and profitable.

Whether you’re an emerging brand new to the world of testing and audits or a retail veteran looking to maximize your brand footprint, partnering with TPH Global Solutions is an edge you can use to drive sustainable retail success. Whether you’re working with Costco, Walmart, Sam’s Club, or other specialty retailers, grocers or pharmacies, TPH has the experience you can leverage for success.

Learn more about custom retail displays