As David Cameron prepares for the UK’s presidency of the G8, the issue of supply chain transparency is already gaining considerable momentum, driven largely by high profile supply chain disasters and scandals. Even UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called for companies to take responsibility for their supply chains in a comment reacting to the recent Bangladeshi garment factory collapse.
It is interesting to note that there are some businesses that claim to have product traceability in their supply chains but more often than not this tends to be about electronic label tracking rather than actual understanding of supplier sustainability. More businesses need to take this issue seriously.
However, understanding suppliers, their ability to be consistently responsible and to ensure they are running their businesses efficiently and not passing on unnecessary cost and risk to customers can be a difficult and costly process. So what role can open data have in helping businesses get to grips with suppliers and suppliers’ suppliers?