What exactly is it that organizations are facing and what are the keys to addressing them?
We think about supply chain resilience, and by resilience, we mean how can a supply chain continue to deliver even when it’s under stress. And there’s really an internal element and an external element. The internal element will be vulnerabilities like the financial health of an organization, where it’s located in the world and its different levels of risk and control standards. The external factors really expose these vulnerabilities, so this could be things like geopolitical issues, war, the pandemic of course, but also third-party actors, so cyber attacks on an organisation can also expose these vulnerabilities.
When there is an issue, how far does it matter to the consumer that that was potentially caused by a supplier?
It does not, and rightly so in my view. If you are unable to deliver your obligations to a customer or to a client, or you don’t handle a customer’s data in the right way because of a supplier, they will look at you and they will want to understand what you did to make sure that your suppliers were the right suppliers to deal with.
How far is it true to say that the transparency in an organization’s supply chain really adds to its value?
It does. We already see examples where investor sentiment will react very quickly, so even if an organization is talking in a positive way about something like sustainability and how they’re investing to increase diversity in their supply chains, this will increase value. On the flip side, if a story breaks about a supply chain breach or a failure to deliver on client commitments, then this can see a pretty significant reduction in the value of an organization.
What sort of things should a company be looking to invest in now to really help to maintain that competitive advantage that you alluded to there?
Investment is critical, you can’t stand still in this space. There are really four areas I would point to.
- The first is talent, having the right people is really important. This is a complex space, and you need expects.
- The second is technology. The days of being able to manage this on spreadsheets and paper are long gone. You need a purpose-built dedicated technology solution to make this work.
- The third is data, identifying the right data signals and data points that you want to help you understand your supply chain.
- And finally, validation and assurance, so really doing a deep dive into your suppliers that you think are critical and high risk and making sure that they are really living up to their obligations and have the right controls.
So what do you see as S&P Global KY3P’s role in all this?
Here at S&P Global KY3P® we really partner with our clients to ensure that they are managing their supply chain risk effectively. And we do that through a combination of our robust technology and workflow solutions integrated with our data signals and we wrap experts around that to really help our clients make the right decisions and the right time and continue to monitor supply chain risk for the long term.