Companies can’t assess exposure levels of sustainability and compliance risk if they don’t know who’s in their supply chain. And they can’t even begin to address problems found within each entity without detailed data.
The key is to build a highly collaborative supply chain ecosystem with digital connectivity and visibility among all stakeholders. Digitizing and aggregating supply chain data is crucial. Step one is to switch from manual methods like spreadsheets to a comprehensive SAAS solution. And while this can sometimes feel insurmountable to tech holdouts, the truth is that switching to digital platforms is easier than one might think.
“This is not futuristic technology; it exists today,” said Katrina Duck, enterprise account executive at Inspectorio, a supply chain management SAAS platform, in a fireside chat with Lauren Parker, director of Sourcing Journal’s Studio Team. “There are many platforms out there where companies can interface with existing solutions, which means the cost of adoption is much lower than it has been historically.”
Inspectorio’s Rise, for example, which was initially developed as a facility audit tool, has been relaunched as a scalable platform that can be easily expanded across different use cases.
Duck acknowledges that Inspectorio’s solution isn’t only about acquiring better digitized data, but extracting existing data and putting it to use upon integration. In a study, Inspectorio found that companies had been managing sustainability and compliance operations with spreadsheets and emails. “Of course, this was not only a huge waste of time as it is inefficient, but there is a wealth of incredibly valuable data that is really buried in those Excel files!” Duck said.
The growing sustainability rules and regulations in the U.S. and Europe also pose problems for companies, especially those using “archaic, manual methods” for collecting and parsing data. Teams managing sustainability continue to be small, and even larger companies face problems with teams often spread over many departments and verticals. Supply chain software solutions can help identify and map out risk areas, connect siloed departments and put a company on a path toward full compliance.
“Understanding the scope of what needs to be done and having the bandwidth to manage it all continues to be very difficult today,” said Duck. “It’s very hard to be on top of everything without a lot of support needed.”
With Inspectorio Rise, Inspectorio centralizes ESG data from internal and external sources—maintains records of all environmental, social and governance data in a single place, validates third-party certifications and external ratings, and identifies areas for improvement.
“We feed that data from internal systems and third-party sources where information already exists with these brands and retailers, to give you that comprehensive view of supplier engagement,” said Duck.
With its real-time upstream visibility, Inspectorio Rise can really help identify and manage risk around the world in two ways. One, through supply chain mapping and risk assessment, companies are proactively notified about risks along their supply chain, giving them the opportunity to audit or check into those red flags. And two, by autogenerating corrective and preventive actions, with actionable advice on how to address compliance and sustainability issues.
“It’s really important to have both identification and a process to manage,” said Duck. “If you identify and don’t manage, it’s useless.”
To watch the fireside chat, click the image above.