Free guide offers advice on supply chain security
Small firms can access advice on how to detect unlicensed and illegal products within their supply chain, following the publication of a free guide from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
The ‘Supply Chain Toolkit’ guide tells firms how to ensure the goods they receive are not counterfeit. Tips given to business owners include telling suppliers what they expect from their goods, how to keep packaging safe from tampering, and carrying out mystery shopping on distributors to ensure their products are priced, packaged and labelled correctly.
The guide also includes a list of useful contacts and a list of the main offences related to IP crime.
According to the IPO, one problem area is that businesses can be tempted to use unlicensed software in the economic downturn, but this leaves businesses vulnerable to legal action, data loss and reduced productivity.
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has endorsed the guide as it states that unlicensed software can lead to prosecution and endanger a business’ IP. BSA spokesman James Ellerington said:
“It’s important for businesses to have this guide so that they know how to keep an eye on what is rogue on their computer systems. Any businesses that are running unlicensed software or illegal software risk fines and having their systems crashed, for something that they have probably installed accidentally.”