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Ensuring foolproof supply chain, a moot point for success

"In a world where supply chains can be extensive, monitoring and ensuring due diligence is no easy task. Before setting out the action plan, one must realise that there is a need to streamline their supply chain operations and technology alone can’t achieve that. Yes, they will assist you in reaching your target right from identifying suppliers that need attention and simplifying audit findings, action management processes to providing capacity building tools to help create a sustainable, effective and resilient supply chain technology."

 

 

Ensuring foolproof supply chain a moot point for success

 

In a world where supply chains can be extensive, monitoring and ensuring due diligence is no easy task. Before setting out the action plan, one must realise that there is a need to streamline their supply chain operations and technology alone can’t achieve that. Yes, they will assist you in reaching your target right from identifying suppliers that need attention and simplifying audit findings, action management processes to providing capacity building tools to help create a sustainable, effective and resilient supply chain technology. Here’s decoding five ways in which technology can help reach goals:

Identifying risky suppliers

Ensuring foolproof supply chain a moot point

 

Risk management is one of the key factors that companies need to quickly manage in order to sustain competition. By automating the risk management process, supplier self-assessments and code of conduct surveys, for example, one can reduce the manual administration required. Using a supply chain information management system, suppliers can be automatically screen risks based on their country of operation, products, existing audits, and using pre-existing data. Then the system can simply invite suppliers to respond to questionnaires, and automated emails and summary dashboards follow up with required actions, so you can dedicate more time to engagement or considering alternatives.

Simplifying the auditing process

Agreed that we are yet to see a sound audit of any company, yet it is one of the best toolset for responsible sourcing professionals. Here also technology can play a crucial role in creating, schedulling and conducting audits, in-house or managing third parties. Observations and non-compliances - including images - can be captured on site, even when offline. Data can then synchronise with your systems as soon as the auditor’s device is back online.

Measuring and anticipating carbon footprint

Supply chain holds the forte when it comes to reducing carbon footprints for any organisation. There are software tools which help you determine the carbon footprint of each supplier and calculate your carbon emissions per pound spent. You can also use software to anticipate what the carbon footprint of future purchases might be, and make informed decisions.

Ensuring sustainable sourcing

Tracing suppliers if they are taking sustainable production steps seems next to impossible task. Again, traceability and tracking software and services enable you to do just that. For instance, by creating a map through your supply chain based on batches or lots of the product purchased. These processes draw on other databases – for example, in the timber category checking performance against the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sourcing criteria. When risks are identified, you can work with suppliers to resolve any issues before they can actually harm the entire value chain.

Enabling collaboration and building capacity

As Peter Parker once said, with (great) power comes (great) responsibility, if companies continue to hold suppliers to their standards and only audit the results, they definitely fail in the long run. One has to collaborate with partners and suppliers to reap greater benefits and enhance transparency in return. Countries have established capacity building projects to inform, support and nurture developing countries, and companies are realising the need for and benefit of capacity building in their supply chains. Again, education and collaboration is being facilitated by technology. All in all, technology is at rescue for all our problems.

 
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