The Group sells a range of over 100,000 stock lines across an extensive range of categories. Our suppliers are similarly diverse from individual factories to large multinational companies. Product safety and quality has to be at the forefront when selecting any product for our range. Appropriate safety certification is obtained (backed by independent third party testing where necessary) and each division has a team dedicated to maintaining these standards.
Express Gifts require new suppliers to produce an Ethical Trading statement as part of the set-up process from a recognised third party auditor. They have also set up, with the help of Veriso, a grading scheme for suppliers which allows continuous improvement of conditions and standards within the Express Gifts supply chain.
Findel Asia Sourcing Ltd, now with 2 offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, has been sourcing products for group companies and third parties for over 30 years and requires that each of the 270 factories they deal with has a valid, reputable audit certificate in place with at least six months’ validity and there is a programme for monitoring the renewal of these. A further level of scrutiny was introduced last year to require evidence that factories with improvement works required under the audits provide photographic evidence of compliance. Findel Education have included adherence to the UK Modern Slavery Act within the new version of their Trading Manual for 2017 and are holding a supplier workshop later this year in which Ethical Sourcing & the Modern Slavery Act will feature alongside a section on product compliance.
Within Express Gifts, various products in our household and children’s furniture ranges are procured from FSC and sustainable sources, whilst within Findel Education all applicable products are assessed for quality & safety including, Toy Safety Directive, Low Voltage Directive, EMC REACH, ROHS, FSC and EU timber regulations compliance. Findel Education are driving standards forward within the education sector with the release of version 2 of their Product Compliance Manual in 2017, supporting vendors in product quality, safety & mandatory compliance by category.
Express Gifts has seen the importance it places on safety and quality of products translated into a reduction in its returns rate by 0.4%. This is in spite of further diversification into clothing ranges which by their nature have a higher rate of return.
Findel Education’s Customer Voice programme has once again shown strong positive trends in customer feedback. Their net promoter score continues to show exceptional results, and in March 2017, they recorded a score of 90% against a base established in 2010 of 50%. There has been an 18% reduction in credits, returns and replacements over the last 3 years, and customer queries have reduced by 48% over the last 5 years, this clearly demonstrates that Findel Education are fulfilling their mission of being 'easy to do business with' through an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement.
As part of its strategy to "put the customer at the heart of everything we do", Express Gifts has deployed several initiatives to help reduce Returns rates and this can be seen by improvements in a number of customer metrics.