It’s perhaps easy to forget that the value of ethics and compliance programmes is not limited to large organisations. Small and medium sized enterprises also benefit from implementing such programmes, especially if they are seeking to win important contracts with large multinational corporations where an ethical bill of health can  provide a winning edge over the competition.

Major international corporations have many thousands of third party business partners. Their acts and omissions can bring the corporation into disrepute and even result in fines or prison for their executives. Therefore large corporations have little option but to demand the highest ethical standards of their agents, subcontractors, joint venture partners   and other associated businesses.

After all, many laws with extra-territorial reach now hold the corporation responsible if its associates get it wrong – the recent UK Bribery Act for one.

How many times do we read in the press about ethical weaknesses in the supply chain – child labour, corruption, conflict of interest – which sully the name of the major retailer at the top of the chain and cost millions in lost sales?

That’s why large corporations conduct strict due diligence exercises to assure themselves that their partners’ own businesses operate to the highest standards – and only those who pass the test get the contract.

Furthermore, being regarded as an ethical business will help companies not only secure business but also attract employees, customers and third party partners, making business more profitable in the process.

Demonstrating you are a safe place to do business is easier than you think

– assess your major risks

– install the right policies and procedures

– train your staff

It’s not as costly as you might think either.

For more information on how you can develop an affordable ethical culture in your small or medium sized enterprise please contact for a free consultation.

Note: This article contains general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. This article may be referenced, re-posted or redistributed, provided attribution is made to the author. McDougall Rew shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this information.