We are developing ourselves in different ways, for instance in logistics and by incorporating sustainability in all our processes. Internationally there are different standards compared to the Netherlands, therefore continuous improvement is what we aim for. Our mission and vision are goals for TAP to work towards. We can describe TAP with the following 9 core values:
TAP provides workwear with added value, which is why our customers return to us. We build trust and relations, which in turn grow collaborations that are worthwhile in the future.
To continue producing workwear we need our resources to be available. With the ever growing population growth and need for resources, the degradation of fertile soil and the changing climate, scarcity of resources is close by. For that reason we work on circular business concepts.
Not only our resources, but also the people who actually create our workwear need to be taken into account. We do everything we can to protect these people from extortion, unfair and unsafe labour conditions. This is not talking the talk, it is walking the walk.
TAP does not make any concessions when it comes to quality and functionality. We guarantee that our products are comfortable and safe to work in and will always continue to do that.
By collaboration we achieve more. For that reason TAP collaborates with a multitude of international organizations, the SEC (Social Economical Council), and AMFORI BSCI. With these collaborations we strive for continuous improvement.
We should all feel comfortable in our workwear. We represent a brand, an ambition, a need to be the best in what we do. Therefore functionality and being representable go hand in hand.
We adapt and overcome. Customer demands, both nationally and internationally, make that we are not afraid of change but embrace it.
We expect transparency from the people and organizations we work with, because our customers demand transparency from us. Therefore we are transparent in what we do, our production processes, our impact on the environment and labour conditions. TAP Social Plan ’19 - ’20 8
To unburden our customers is the basis for what we do, because this represents TAP as a whole. We make sure the products we offer can be worn and worked in safely, comfortably and without concerns.
Sourcing strategy and pricing
We do not own any of these production locations, however we only work with long-term business suppliers. TAP strives for long term relations, suppliers given we have to produce the same product in the exact same quality for multiple years. Whenever we introduce new products to our product range we always check if our current suppliers are able to produce it, because we are already aware of their capabilities and quality. Knowing that we also benefit from a higher signatory share we try to get this number up the longer we stay with our suppliers. This also means that we try to consolidate our suppliers where we can and we say goodbye to some suppliers in a responsible manner. However, we stay with the same suppliers for multiple years because this is beneficial for both TAP and the supplier. The average amount of years of collaboration with our suppliers is slightly over 7 years! We do not aim to sell our products for the lowest price, however we aim for the best quality of products for a price that represents that.
Organisation of our sourcing department.
The purchasing department (sourcing) is responsible for purchasing all our products. Given that TAP handles a ‘never out of stock’ principle, these products need to be available at all times. This is also part of the TAP DNA: ordering today, delivery tomorrow. In order to keep track of the stock levels, a planning system is incorporated to always know when orders should be placed. We communicate with our suppliers a long-term forecast, 6 months from now, to make sure they have enough time for production.
TAP also works with agents which are in charge of communication with the actual supplier, which is for multiple reasons. First, the agents have a good connection with the supplier and are able to communicate quickly and in the correct language. At the same time it is not always easy to get access to the supplier without leverage, therefore the agents often works with multiple companies who he represents in order to gain leverage and access to the supplier. Preferably TAP stays in direct contact with the supplier, given that the route to communicate, check the quality of our products, discuss any issues that might occur in the production facility, is longer. Our sourcing department is led by our Director of Operations, thereafter the Head of Purchasing and then the actual purchasers.
Our stock items are ordered with a lead-time of approximately 6 months which enables our suppliers to take into account TAP production time way in advance. This has the benefit that TAP has almost no back-orders because the supplier has enough time, we create extra margin in time for ourselves because we are able to overcome and foresee future struggles, and we know way in advance when we can expect the next delivery.
Our TAP Specials are ordered when requested by our customer. Most often, these specials are ordered once a customer places a repeat order. Only when the sales of a specific article is particularly low a product will be removed from the catalogue.
Training and capacity building
Activities to inform staff members.
During sales meetings, sourcing meetings, intranet messages and via written procedures TCB topics are discussed. Next to these internal ways to inform, both the TCB, purchasing and R&D department visit workshops and trainings.
Activities to inform agents
Sometimes we buy indirectly, with the help of an agent. But only if this agent has an added value for TAP, for example if the agent can let us produce in places where we would not be able to by ourselves. In addition, the agent is the overall contact person and is the one that is in constant contact with the production location. All trainings for agents are done in the same way as our contact person as other suppliers do. We try to regularly visit these production locations to gain insight into the situation and discuss the findings in the CAPS compared to what we see personally at that moment.
Activities to inform manufacturers and workers
We inform our suppliers as often as possible about our TCB standards and our expectations towards them. This results firstly in periodically (re-)auditing our suppliers. Depending on what has been concluded from the audit, we initiate a ZOOM-meeting each 1, 2, 3 or 4 months during which we discuss the progress that should have been made the last period. During this meeting both the TCB and Purchasing department are present for TAP, and on the other side the supplier provides us with more information. In the case the supplier visited us, we discuss the issues and progress during a personal meeting.
We assess new suppliers in different ways, before coming to a conclusion. There are approximately 30 questions that should be answered before the supplier can be added to our supply chain, of which some examples are below:
- Are we able influence how the supplier incorporates safety, social issues and the environment?
- Can the supplier deliver the right product, quality, price and delivery we require?
- Is the supplier financially viable (towards the future)?
- Is it open for transparent, honest communication?
- If it is not the case yet, is it open for auditing parties?
- Does the supplier have proper chemical management?
- Does the supplier sign procedures and guidelines e.g. the Code of Conduct and the Code of Labour Practices?
Before we have these questions answered, we analyse the supplier and the country in which it produces in our risk analysis. After having consulted both the R&D and TCB department, the Director of Operations then gives the final call.
We have created a structure for analysing our suppliers by adding them in our risk analysis. This enables us to structurally set priorities and determine what focal points each supplier has. We analyse all the countries for specific risks (living wages, sexual harassment, child labour, subcontracting, overtime, human rights, freedom of labour, occupational health and safety, discrimination, social dialogue, freedom of association, corruption) and give a value to this based on severity (scale and scope), irreversibility, probability and action perspective by TAP.
Based on this analysis, the fact that there are high risks of sourcing from this vendor, and also the amount of extra work that comes with it to make sure all standards are adhered to, it was decided that this was not desired. We perform audits with all our suppliers to check the extent to which the COLP are actually implemented and we periodically discuss with all our suppliers the amount of progress that has been booked.
Transparency & communication
TAP communicates as transparent as possible and understands that being transparent is more important now than before. All the communication we do should be beneficial for TAP. Whenever the new Brand Performance Check is done we will publish this on our website, as well as the Social Plan.
- Living wages
- Freedom of association
- (Unauthorized) subcontracting
- Social dialogue and complaints
- Chemicals management
- Sustainable resources
Our direct customers demand affordable and high quality products. More and more they expect circular systems. They also expect open and honest communication about how the products are produced. We are held responsible for ethically responsible produced products. Most of our customers request a strategy from us on how we tackle possible issues.
The end-users demand best quality and performance. More and more they become aware of the social and environmental circumstances during which the products are produced are important. Which is why we inform our customers and the end-users often about our strategy.
Suppliers and agents
Our suppliers and agents expect honest and realistic leadtimes, honest prices for the products, quick communication about environmental demands, audits, trainings (and more), long-term collaboration based on trust and quality, and high-quantity orders. With only small order quantities they have no direct value for TAP. After we created the risk analysis we analysed al our suppliers based on in total 15 aspects, ranging from social to environmental aspects. All these individual aspects have been communicated with the individual suppliers and with some suppliers we have discussed this already according to our procedures.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Next to effectuating CSR in the production location of our suppliers, TAP also implements different processes and systems that make TAP a more sustainable company in the future. It is not only important to focus on our abroad activities and influence, but also to focus on what we can achieve here, in the Netherlands, to reduce any negative impact. Therefore TAP has been working on the following activities:
- ISO 9001 and 14001 certification
- Renewable energy
- Circular products
- Recycling waste