Open, honest and ongoing communication between ANN INC. and our suppliers is essential to meeting our commitment to responsible sourcing. Throughout our relationships with suppliers, we stress the importance of shared communication, and we are transparent about how social compliance impacts our business allocations.



AT SCALE, our compliance rating system, is used to communicate compliance performance to our suppliers and within our organization. The rating scale provides guidance to Sourcing and assists them in driving business with suppliers that achieve better compliance levels and reducing business with poor performers.

The AT SCALE approach not only identifies issues, but also helps us work with our suppliers to develop solutions to their social compliance challenges. When we identify a compliance challenge, the supplier must create and submit a remediation plan, developed either internally or with an industry consultant, which outlines how they plan on addressing the issue. Occasionally, those suppliers with complex, systemic issues are asked to commit to long-term remediation programs, preferably with industry compliance consultants. If the programs and business reductions fail to result in improvements, we will terminate relationships with suppliers as a last resort. Though not preferred, we believe our termination policy is consistent with our strong commitment to social compliance.

      


Our years of experience have indicated that there are four focus areas that our suppliers must prioritize to deliver sustained compliance. In order to achieve success on AT SCALE, we promote these four key focus areas:

      
Compliance with
ANN INC.’s Global
Supplier Principles
& Guidelines
Every supplier we work with must sign ANN INC.’s Global Supplier Principles and Guidelines and allow unannounced monitoring by our third-party representatives.
      
Supplier
Ownership of
Compliance
We know that long-term change demands that suppliers take responsibility for working conditions in their facilities. Suppliers are strongly encouraged to appoint a dedicated Compliance Officer within their organization. We also use AT SCALE to demonstrate to suppliers how we rate their performance, and how that performance affects the amount of business we place with them. Finally, we engage directly with supplier management when addressing compliance issues to further build their accountability.
      
Transparency
We strongly believe that transparency, including accurate wage and working hour records, is fundamental to mutual trust between our company and our suppliers. We require our suppliers to disclose facilities and sub-contractors that will be used to make our products, and we consider use of unapproved facilities to be a significant violation of our Global Supplier Principles and Guidelines.
      
Continuous
Improvement
When facilities experience compliance issues, we work with them to address the problems and expect them to commit to implementing long-term solutions. We work with facilities to create realistic goals, which allow them to demonstrate sustainable progress and results within an agreed-upon timeframe.