Understanding Chain Of Responsibility In Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management coordinates the flow of goods and services throughout the supply chain. It involves the planning, sourcing, production, and distribution of raw materials. In addition to this, logistics, order management, and manufacturing must be integrated.

To ensure the safety of all parties involved in the process, there is a concept called chain of responsibility or CoR. It’s essential to understand this concept related to safety and compliance in the supply chain. If you want to further understand this concept, read more below.

What Is a Chain Of Responsibility?  

A chain of responsibility or CoR is a system that ensures the efficient flow of goods and services. It encompasses all processes involved in transferring raw materials, including procurement, production, and delivery. As a result, the chain of responsibility laws also addresses various environmental and health issues that may arise during the supply chain. That’s why people involved in the supply chain receive chain of responsibility training to further understand and apply this concept in their everyday work.  

The concept started in the early 2000s to ensure accountability and manage driver fatigue, speed, load restraint, and overloading issues. By 2005, legislation concerning the chain of responsibility was developed as part of the National Road Transport Reform or the Compliance and Enforcement Act 2003.

Why Is CoR Important?

The existing road transport laws focus on the responsibility of the drivers and operators. However, when the chain of responsibility was developed, the transport laws became a shared responsibility of all the parties involved in the supply chain. This means that safety and regulatory compliance is the responsibility of the driver and the responsibility of the dispatcher, loader, supply chain manager, scheduler, and operator.

The chain of responsibility ensures that all parties take reasonable steps to prevent any breaches of road transport laws. These obligations apply to:

  • Shipping lines and agents  
  • Importers  
  • Retailers  
  • Manufacturers  
  • Freight forwarders  
  • Distributors  

Significant amendments to the law focused on the responsibility of executive officers and company directors. This ensures that companies will continually review their business practices and take proactive and preventive steps to manage the risks involved in supply chain processes.

Understanding Chain Of Responsibility In Supply Chain Management

What Are The Focus Areas Of CoR?  

The amended chain of responsibility has five primary focus areas:

  • Fatigue Management

Fatigue management involves the drivers’ health while they’re on the road. According to the chain of responsibility, employers and customers will be accountable if any dangerous work schedules are given to drivers. Every driver has maximum work hours and minimum rest as defined by law. Aside from that, it’s the responsibility of employers to address issues in delays in loading and unloading or truck queuing that can contribute to driver fatigue.

  • Loading

All truck loads must meet the recommended standards of the National Transport Commission. It shouldn’t be placed in a way that will make the vehicle unsafe or is likely to dislodge or fall from the car. Loads must also have appropriate restrains.

  • Speed Compliance

Every vehicle must follow posted road speed limits and those defined by laws. Supply chain managers must ensure that the speeds of their vehicles are monitored, and power speed limits are enforced.

  • Maintenance Management

Supply chain managers and other concerned personnel must ensure that all vehicles are well-maintained and are safe for travel. Aside from that, all cars must be equipped with safety equipment.

  • Mass and Dimension

All vehicles must follow all the limits specified by the Heavy Vehicle National Regulation. There are also standards for construction and size limits of vehicles.

How Do You Ensure Your Supply Chain Processes Comply With COR?  

The first step in ensuring that you comply with the chain of responsibility is to review your existing system and check if it’s compliant with COR laws. What roles do you hold in the supply chain? If you belong to the following group, you need to be aware of the legislation:

  • Driver  
  • Loading Manager  
  • Loader  
  • Scheduler  
  • Packer  
  • Consigner  
  • Unloader  
  • Consignee  
  • Employer/Owner  

Each personnel should help eliminate or minimize the risk of drivers and vehicles not complying with the legislation.   

After evaluating your system, you must make adjustments and correct any gaps you have identified. Any changes you make in the system must be communicated to all concerning parties, employees, and contractors.

Final Thoughts  

There are many ways to ensure the efficiency of your workplace, especially in your supply chain processes. When it comes to improving your supply chain processes, you can use technology or ensure that you follow all the legislation and regulations for every aspect of your business.   

Following the chain of responsibility ensures that all personnel involved in the supply chain processes follow the regulations and eliminate any risks at any point in the system. As a business owner, you must ensure that all personnel are aware of this legislation and are appropriately trained to maintain the safety and efficiency of your business processes.   

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