A few years ago we recognised that the supply chain was a very weak link in the compliance, integrity and risk world. Suppliers were vetted for so many things but rarely anything that was reputation, integrity or values related. We strongly believe that suppliers are a weak link and the services and solutions in this market are not aimed at the right place — they are focused on boxchecking questionnaires and self-disclosure.
With that in mind, we launched a new software platform called Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management. The platform is an innovative supply-chain ethics, integrity and compliance risk-management solution that streamlines the onboarding process and continually monitors for new risks.
Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management is positioned to expand the Firm’s footprint outside the traditional compliance and legal space to help vendor management and procurement teams manage risks throughout the supply chain. Our supply-chain platform is unique to the procurement space and a strategic enabler for organisations with large supply chains. We join together not only technology, but the data and insights from the IntegraWatch® | Compliance Screening database and the almost 500,000 reports that our compliance analysts have produced on suppliers across 20 industries, 194 countries and 45 languages. In our view, the secret sauce is all three: technology, data, and professional services.
We understand that onboarding speed and efficient use of resources are top of mind for procurement leaders, and have refined Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management to address these priorities while still providing necessary transparency into the compliance and integrity risk hidden within the supply chain. This is why we have changed the paradigm of the traditional third-party compliance assessment process from one-size-fits-all activities completed in batches to risk-based assessments dynamically individualised to the risk associated with each supplier.
Since its launch, we have made significant improvements to the platform and increased its performance and scalability. We are continually enhancing the risk identification and assessment capabilities and expanding the range of factors to provide procurement teams with greater insight across the supply chain. We have been engaged by a global European car manufacturer as our first global customer — a huge win for the platform and our Firm.
Procurement leaders are taking a greater role in business strategy and must consider broader risks beyond operational risk. Although the main focus of supply-chain strategy remains lowering cost throughout the chain and ensuring continuity of business-partner availability, more and more organisations are recognising the potential impact of brand erosion when suppliers fail to meet their compliance and integrity standards.
Procurement leaders report an increase in investments in supply-chain technology as a means to increase efficiency and lower cost through automation and advanced analytics. These transformational programmes are seen as key to the overall business strategy, and they will represent an estimated US$19 billion spend by 2019. As an indicator of the increasing importance of supply-chain technology, venture investment in technology firms in this sector exceeded US$4 billion in 2017.
Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management is designed to complement the existing supply-chain ecosystem, seamlessly integrating with existing technology and processes to establish a consistent and risk-based approach to compliance and integrity risk management.
In 2018 we will also be making a significant investment in artificial-intelligence tools to enhance various aspects of the Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management functionality. Areas where cognitive computing may be used include enhanced risk identification and assessment capabilities, improved risk scoring and natural language platform search. This is a foundational component in the longterm Supplier Integrity® technology strategy.
We believe that Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management will enable procurement teams to position supplier compliance and integrity as a competitive advantage to the organisation and be an integral part of the supply-chain technology ecosystem. As with any technology platform designed to work within a complex environment with many enterprise systems, we will evolve the integration capabilities to streamline the delivery process. This will be achieved with enhanced APIs that allow the robust exchange of data in and out of Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management, thus enabling the business with strategic integrity-risk insights.
Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management is a highly flexible design and well positioned to support a wide range of client needs. Moving forward we will be seeking opportunities to extend the platform to support the unique aspects of not just suppliers, but other thirdparty types. Leveraging the robust risk-assessment capabilities and dynamic workflows, we will bring the supplier assessment and onboarding approach to resellers, distributes, agents etc.
We are excited about the evolution of the Supplier Integrity® | Supply Chain Risk Management platform and have no doubt that the innovations represented will continue to resonate with clients and enable the Firm to continue market leadership in supply-chain compliance and integrity assessment and management.