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COS Policies

 

Introduction:

COS Retail recognises that dealing with different suppliers is a complex task often requiring a good deal of local judgment and flexibility. However we expect certain standards of conduct from suppliers and employees. This is the basis of our ethical purchasing policy 

Why is ethical purchasing important:

COS Retail has a legal and ethical obligation to ensure its purchasing practices and standards place a priority on safety and are environmentally sound, efficient and well managed on behalf of our business, employees and customers. We need to be able to work with our suppliers to ensure that they understand and adhere to our needs and business standards. Appreciating the diversity of business cultures, we aim to work with our chosen suppliers so that they know which of their practices are weak or not acceptable to COS Retail and how they should work to resolve any gaps and deficiencies in order to continue to do business with us. Our position on ethical purchasing policy is clearly defined in this document.

Our Ethical Purchasing Policy:

All COS Retail staff that makes commitments to suppliers is tasked with obtaining and retaining the best value, most competitive products and services available. However, managing purchasing and efficient supply is not just about getting the best value for money. It is also about making sure the products and services we buy are obtained from sources that respect our safety, health, environment, product stewardship product quality, social, legal and ethical standards and sustainability requirements. COS Retail are committed to operating to the highest legal, ethical and corporate responsibility standards. These standards are contained in our policies including Health & Safety, Environment, Quality, Equal Opportunity and Human Rights. Adherence to COS Retail ethical purchasing policy will increasingly become a pre-qualification and condition to doing business with us.  

COS Retails policy is to seek to purchase goods and services which:

1. Do not jeopardise people’s safety in any way.

2. Comply in every respect to legislation regarding their impact on the environment.

3. Are produced and delivered under conditions that do not involve the intimidation abuse and exploitation of others.

4. Are fair value for price, quality and volume offered.

5. Meet government, industry and COS Retail safety and quality standards. Such considerations will form the backbone of the evaluation and selection criteria for all goods and services purchased by COS Retail. COS Retail will seek alternative sources where the conduct of suppliers demonstrably violates our polices, and where there is no effort by the supplier to address that situation within an agreed time period.

Our contract with Suppliers:

By agreeing to supply COS Retail, suppliers must understand that they are also required to accept our ethical purchasing policy. Our suppliers must agree to work with us to continuously improve compliance to the standards set out below, both within their own companies and those of their own suppliers further along the supply chain. The implementation of the ethical purchasing policy is a shared responsibility between COS Retail and its suppliers

COS Retail will:

1. Manage the responsibility of ensuring that all purchasing and supply practices comply with this policy.

2. Communicate its commitment to the ethical purchasing policy to all employees and suppliers and make appropriate resources available to meet its stated commitments, including training and guidelines for all relevant employees.

3. Provide guidance to suppliers who genuinely seek to promote and implement the policy’s standards into their own business processes and in their relevant supply chains.

4. Adopt appropriate methods and systems for monitoring and verifying the achievement of these standards.

5. Report progress in implementing the ethical purchasing policy annually COS Retails senior management team.

6. Seek to continually improve the way in which its suppliers are appointed and supply chain relationships are managed, audited and reported.

Business Standards Required of our Suppliers:

COS Retail expects certain minimum standards of performance, business behavior and legal and ethical compliance from its suppliers and everyone associated with COS Retail, including employees that deal with suppliers. These minimum standards are 

COS Retail expects its suppliers to:

1. Ensure that their products and services are produced and delivered in line with all laws, local regulations and best industry standards and practices.

2. Assign responsibility for internally communicating and implementing the COS Retail ethical purchasing policy to an appropriate manager or responsible person and, if requested by ourselves, make a written statement of intent regarding the policy, including how it will be implemented and communicated to its employees and suppliers.

3. If requested by COS Retail, report progress on implementing the ethical purchasing policy by describing actions taken and detailing future planned activity.

4. Accept responsibility for adopting and implementing acceptable safety, environmental, product quality, labour, human rights, social and legal standards under which products are made and services provided. This includes all work contracted or sub-contracted.

5. Highlight to COS Retail any areas of legal or ethical concern about resolving any gaps and deficiencies.

6. Seek continuous improvement in the way the company produces and delivers its products and services manages its supply chain relationships.

Both parties will:

1. Work together as far as possible to highlight and neutralise areas of risk and concern and non-compliance.

2. Ensure immediate cessation of serious breaches of the ethical purchasing policy and where these persist terminate their business relationship.

3. Ensure all employees are aware of their individual obligations under COS Retail ethical purchasing policy.

4. Recognise official regulation and inspection of workplace standards and the interests of legitimate trade unions and other representative organisations 

 

 Customer Care Policy

Our customer services are contactable via:

• Telephone: 028 8676 3696

• Fax: 028 8676 5050

• Email: info@cos-ni.co.uk

• Web Enquiry: www.cos-ni.co.uk

• Writing: COS Retail, 1-3 Limekiln Lane, Cookstown, Co.Tyrone, N-Ireland. BT80 8NL

COS Retail is committed to excellence in customer service. All staff and representatives of COS Retail are expected to perform excellent customer service.

Customer Service Objective:

· To deliver high quality service,

· To understand and satisfy the needs of our customers,

· To ensure all requests and deadlines are met,

· To demonstrate integrity in all dealings with all our customers,

 · To act openly and honestly in all matters,

 · To be committed to delivering on our promise,

Our intent.

 · We deliver the highest levels of Customer Service that will meet and strive to exceed the needs of our customer.

 · As a customer of COS Retail and your needs and wants change we will strive to meet these changing needs.

 · We will at all times remain committed to providing the best quality products available to us and back this up with our after sales service.

 · We undertake to review this policy as necessary to ensure that it continues to reflect the needs of the customers of COS Retail.

Dealing with queries or complaints:

Customer comments file for all queries and complaints, ensuring complete traceability to monitor and improve service levels. Comments are then directed to the relevant department for further investigation.

Action Plan:

Customer Complaint received

Entered onto customer comments file - relevant department / supplier notified,

Result achieved - customer contacted

If further investigation required - customer contacted - referred to head of department

Result achieved - customer contacted

Health, Safety and the Environment:

We are committed to excellence in efficiency, quality, service, health safety, and environment resulting in a sustainable and enduring relationship with our entire business in accordance with the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated legal requirements. There are no higher priorities for us than the safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and local communities. We are committed to maintaining our record of zero fatalities, injuries and incidents, believing that all are preventable. Our activities include the marketing, sales, distribution, assembly and installation of high quality flat pack office furniture. 

This policy states in broad terms the principle commitments of COS Retail. 

COS Retail are committed to strive for continuous improvement by establishing appropriate business goals and objectives and implementing the plans to achieve them. 

COS Retail aim to meet customer needs by providing quality products and services through a caring and friendly working environment committed to preventing pollution, injury or ill health through compliance with all legislation, regulations and codes of practices relevant to our operations and other requirements to which we subscribe.

COS Retail are continuously aware of, and evaluate the impact of our activities on the environment and continuously act to improve upon them.

COS Retail will endeavour to ensure products supplied do not burden the environment by always considering and ensuring the impact of our materials on the environment is low.

Under the waste and contaminated land order 1997 COS Retail are a registered carrier with NIEA ( Northern Ireland Environment Agency ) witch enables us to remove all packaging from the building or site and separate the waste for recycling.

The COS Retail approach will be to continuously revise our activities and reduce our waste through recycling.  All COS Retail staff is made aware of our environmental policy. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES STATEMENT

It is the Employer’s policy not to discriminate against its workers on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability or age, pregnancy or trade union membership or the fact that they are a part-time worker or a fixed-term employee. Our workers and applicants for employment shall not be disadvantaged by any policies or conditions of service which cannot be justified as necessary for operational purposes. The Employer shall, at all times, strive to work within legislative requirements as well as promoting best practice. The Employer’s long-term aim is that the composition of our workforce should reflect that of the community and that all workers should be offered equal opportunities to achieve their full potential. These policies, and the measures we take to implement it, have been devised on the basis of advice from the relevant government and professional bodies. We are committed to a programme of action to make this policy effective and to bring it to the attention of all workers. The principle of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity applies equally to the treatment of visitors, clients, customers and suppliers by members of our workforce

COS: Anti Bribery & Corruption Policy:

 

1.  Introduction

COS Retail: values its reputation and is committed to maintaining the highest level of ethical standards in the conduct of its business affairs.  The actions and conduct of the firm’s staff as well as others acting on the firm’s behalf are key to maintaining these standards.

The purpose of this document is to set out the firm’s policy in relation to bribery and corruption.  The policy applies strictly to all employees, directors, agents, consultants, contractors and to any other people or bodies associated with the COS Retail within all regions, areas and functions.  

Understanding and recognising bribery & corruption  

Acts of bribery or corruption are designed to influence an individual in the performance of their duty and incline them to act in a way that a reasonable person would consider to be dishonest in the circumstances. 

Bribery can be defined as offering, promising or giving a financial (or other) advantage to another person with the intention of inducing or rewarding that person to act or for having acted in a way which a reasonable person would consider improper in the circumstances.  Corruption is any form of abuse of entrusted power for private gain and may include, but is not limited to, bribery. 

Bribes are not always a matter of handing over cash.  Gifts, hospitality and entertainment can be bribes if they are intended to influence a decision. 

3Penalties

The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011.  Under that Act, bribery by individuals is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.  If the firm is found to have taken part in the bribery or is found to lack adequate procedures to prevent bribery, it too could also face an unlimited fine.

A conviction for a bribery or corruption related offence would have severe reputational and/or financial consequences for the firm. 

4COS Retails Policy

COS Retail will not tolerate bribery or corruption in any form. 

The firm prohibits the offering, giving, solicitation or the acceptance of any bribe or corrupt inducement, whether in cash or in any other form:

to or from any person or company wherever located, whether a public official or public body, or a private person or company;

by any individual employee, director, agent, consultant, contractor or other person or body acting on the firm’s behalf; 

in order to gain any commercial, contractual, or regulatory advantage for the firm in any way which is unethical or to gain any personal advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, for the individual or anyone connected with the individual.

This policy is not intended to prohibit the following practices provided they are appropriate, proportionate and are properly recorded:

  • normal hospitality, provided that it complies with the firm’s Corporate Entertainment Policy;
  • fast tracking a process which is available to all on the payment of a fee; and/or
  • providing resources to assist a person or body to make a decision more efficiently, provided that it is for this purpose only.

It may not always be a simple matter to determine whether a possible course of action is appropriate.  If you are in any doubt as to whether a possible act might be in breach of this policy or the law, the matter should be referred to your Head of Department.  If necessary, guidance should also be sought from the Group Legal and Compliance Director or the Director, Head of Legal.

 

The firm will investigate thoroughly any actual or suspected breach of this policy, or the spirit of this policy.  Employees found to be in breach of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action which may ultimately result in their dismissal. 

5Key risk areas  

Bribery can be a risk in many areas of the firm.  Below are the key areas you should be aware of in particular:

Excessive gifts, entertainment and hospitality:  can be used to exert improper influence on decision makers.  Gifts, entertainment and hospitality are acceptable provided they fall within the firm’s Entertainment Policy.

Facilitation payments: are used by businesses or individuals to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action to which the payer has an entitlement as of right.  The firm will not tolerate or excuse such payments being made.

Reciprocal agreements: or any other form of ‘quid pro quo’ are never acceptable unless they are legitimate business arrangements which are properly documented and approved by management.  Improper payments to obtain new business, retain existing business or secure any improper advantage should never be accepted or made.

Actions by third parties for which the firm may be held responsible: can include a range of people i.e. agents, contractors and consultants, acting on the firm’s behalf.  Appropriate due diligence should be undertaken before a third party is engaged.  Third parties should only be engaged where there is a clear business rationale for doing so, with an appropriate contract.  Any payments to third parties should be properly authorised and recorded.

Record keeping: can be exploited to conceal bribes or corrupt practices.  We must ensure that we have robust controls in place so that our records are accurate and transparent. 

 

6.  Employee responsibility and how to raise a concern

The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery or corruption is the responsibility of all employees throughout the firm.  If you become aware or suspect that an activity or conduct which is proposed or has taken place is a bribe or corrupt, then you have a duty to report this. 

 

     Any such incidents should be reported to the business owner

                                      Noel McGirr 07775737045 or 028 8676 3696