“Supply Chain Mapping & Visualization” or “Risk Mapping”
Can support traceability by facilitating the collection, management, analysis, and communication of supply chain data. Specific functions, depending on the solution utilized, can include the discovery, mapping, and visualization of supply chain networks and actors; the mapping and visualization of a specific good’s journey through the supply chain; risk assessment of production locations; and assessment of and engagement with suppliers.
Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms encompass a range of solutions that facilitate the discovery, collection, analysis, management, and communication of supply chain data. These platforms may utilize supply chain data and information gathered through direct engagement with suppliers, data from supplier questionnaires, chain of custody data, certification documentation, transport documentation, physical verification data, and transactional documentation.
By making supply chain data accessible for analysis and by mapping supply chain actors, Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms can support users in discovering, understanding, and managing their supply chain and can enable more efficient and transparent communication. Some solutions integrate Digital Chain of Custody Platforms and Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms; these may be Blockchain-enabled or integrate with other technologies to support real-time product tracking. Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms can allow for verification and risk assessment of supply chains and, since supply chain information is stored in a central place, enable on-demand reporting.
In addition to discovering actors and nodes in a particular supply chain, Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms can typically create a visual representation of the linkages in a company’s supply chain network or the journey of a particular good through production facilities at specific locations. These visual representations can include world-view maps; network-view maps; or logical branch maps.
Some Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platform solutions can be used to conduct risk mapping or a risk assessment of collected supply chain data which can help to prioritize production locations for further due diligence. Analytical tools including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning can be leveraged to perform risk and predictive analysis and can incorporate data points from publicly available datasets layered on top of supply chain data.
Some Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms also implement supplier assessments on environment, social, and governance (ESG) topics, issue information requests, and support the management of certification documentation and supplier policies. These types of solutions can support further engagement and collaboration with supply chain partners.
Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms support Supply Chain Engagement and Product Tracking methods. While some solutions may offer numerous services described above, others may focus more exclusively on discovering, mapping, visualizing, and analyzing supply chain actors and data in order to trace particular products.
Since Supply Chain Transparency and Management Platforms rely on accurate and standardized supply chain data, it is imperative that users have access to quality data. If companies are engaging directly with suppliers to build out the database and map their supply chain network, they will need to have strong relationships with suppliers who are willing to be onboarded onto and use a particular platform. These platforms may not be feasible in cases where suppliers are not accessible or are unwilling to cooperate and provide data or their list of suppliers.