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Serai Offers a Visual Way of Managing Supply-Chain Risk

A leading global trade platform wants to help businesses gain a clear view of potential hotspots in their extended supply chain, allowing them to proactively tackle risks, make better judgment calls and reduce their environmental impacts.

“The days of simply knowing the names of the companies engaged in the production process are long gone,” Saibh McDonagh Kelly, head of product for supply chain solutions at Serai, said Tuesday. “Buyers today want to work with suppliers who are open about their business operations so that they may have confidence in a supplier’s ability to fulfill orders. Having visibility into external factors that can have a dire impact on operations, such as financial instability and the ability to operate in unusual conditions like Covid-19, will give businesses a huge competitive advantage.”

By leveraging its new visually friendly visibility tool, a complement to its existing traceability product, companies will be able to “gain a holistic view of the business environment in which they operate,” the Hong Kong-based firm said. The platform dispatches real-time alerts, powered by Coface and Dun & Bradstreet, that keep users abreast of global disruptions such as natural disasters or disease outbreaks. Using multiple “world class” data sources, Serai can also delve into the financial health and performance of a user’s supply-chain partners, dispensing up-to-date risk scores, news stories and other insights.

Apparel manufacturer Lever Style, one of Serai’s clients, praised the “improved overall clarity, efficiency and trust” that the platform has engendered.

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“Having such a diverse international clientele, ensuring our products are sustainably-produced and of a high product quality are important to us,” said Stanley Szeto, executive chairman of Lever Style, one of Serai’s clients. “To do this, we need transparency into our global supply chain. With hundreds of manufacturing and supplier relationships spanning Asia, and clients worldwide, this was not an easy task to manage. Serai had a ready-built solution that was able to empower us with data for visibility at every stage of our supply chain.”

The launch of the visibility tool comes on the heels of a Serai and KPMG survey that found that just 19 percent of brands, retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and sourcing agents in the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe claim to have full visibility of all stakeholders operating across their entire supply chain. An even smaller proportion—15 percent—claimed full traceability of the materials used to create their products.

Lindsey Hermes, head of enterprise solutions at Serai said that the visibility product is a “must-have” for companies that want to facilitate cooperation across stakeholders, increase efficiencies and take action when comes to compliance and accountability.

“The resilience and sustainability of our supply chains are key drivers of the global economy,” she said. “It’s already a no-brainer when it comes to using the power of technology to gain a competitive advantage in streamlining operations across the supply chain—the untapped potential here is using the same platform to identify ways to reduce our environmental impact.”

Serai’s overriding ethos is to help companies gain access to data that enables them to make more informed decisions about who to trade with, particularly in light of tightening forced-labor and mandatory due-diligence laws, added Serai CEO Vivek Ramachandran.

“Today’s world has demonstrated how fragile supply chains are,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where the data comes from; we’ll pull it together in a very simple, actionable format to help you stay on top of your suppliers.”