Elevate Your Master Data

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world, organizations are increasingly relying on accurate and reliable data to make informed decisions, ensure compliance, and optimize operational efficiency. Among the most critical forms of data for any business is supplier information, which plays a pivotal role in procurement, risk management, and overall operational excellence. That’s where Trust Your Supplier (TYS) comes into the picture, revolutionizing how organizations manage their supplier data. In this blog, we’ll explore how TYS can help you take your master data governance to the next level. 

The Foundation of Trust: Transparency Through Blockchain 

One of the key challenges in managing supplier data has always been ensuring its accuracy and integrity. Discrepancies in supplier information can lead to costly errors, delays, and compliance issues. Trust Your Supplier leverages cutting-edge blockchain technology to address this challenge. 

Transparency: TYS creates a transparent and tamper-proof ledger of supplier information on the blockchain. This means that once data is recorded, it cannot be altered or deleted without leaving a trace. Say goodbye to data discrepancies and hello to data accuracy. With TYS, you can trust that the information you have is the most up-to-date and reliable. 

Data Accuracy: The Cornerstone of Informed Decision-Making 

Accurate master data is not just nice to have; it’s a necessity. TYS ensures that your supplier data is not only up-to-date but also reliable. This empowers your organization to make informed decisions confidently. With trustworthy supplier data, you can negotiate better contracts, forecast with accuracy, and optimize your procurement processes. 

Efficiency: Streamlined Supplier Management 

Managing supplier data can be a time-consuming and manual process, often bogged down by paperwork and data entry. TYS is designed to streamline supplier onboarding, automate processes, and reduce the need for manual data entry. This, in turn, allows your team to focus on what really matters – building and nurturing strategic supplier relationships. By automating administrative tasks, you can optimize your procurement operations and dedicate more time to enhancing supplier collaboration. 

Compliance: Your Path to Regulatory Adherence 

Master data governance and compliance are intrinsically linked. Ensuring that your supplier data aligns with regulatory requirements is paramount to avoid legal issues and financial penalties. TYS helps you meet these regulatory requirements with ease. By maintaining an accurate and tamper-proof ledger of supplier data, you can mitigate risks more effectively and ensure that your organization remains compliant with ever-evolving regulations. 

Join the Ranks of Data-Driven Organizations 

Trust Your Supplier is more than just a tool; it’s a revolution in master data governance. It empowers organizations to redefine how they manage their supplier data, providing transparency, data accuracy, efficiency, and compliance. By leveraging TYS, you can unlock the full potential of your supplier management processes and drive your organization forward in an increasingly competitive business landscape. 

Are you ready to elevate your master data governance? Join the ranks of forward-thinking organizations that have embraced Trust Your Supplier and discovered how it can transform your supplier data management. Say goodbye to data discrepancies and hello to data accuracy, efficiency, and compliance with TYS!  Let’s Talk

#TrustYourSupplier #MasterDataGovernance #DataAccuracy #Blockchain #SupplierManagement #Compliance 

Trust Your Supplier isn’t just a solution; it’s a fundamental shift in how businesses manage their supplier data. With its foundation in blockchain technology, it provides the transparency, accuracy, efficiency, and compliance needed in today’s data-driven business landscape. Don’t miss the opportunity to elevate your master data governance – trust in Trust Your Supplier. 

Renee Ure Joins TYS as a Business Advisor

We are thrilled to announce that Trust Your Supplier (TYS) has a new addition to our team! Please give a warm welcome to Renee Ure, who has joined us as a dedicated Business Advisor. 🎉👏

Renee has always been an ardent supporter of TYS since the beginning, and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have her on board in this formal position. Her expertise and unwavering passion for supply chain management will play a crucial role in shaping our solutions and forging impactful partnerships that will revolutionize the entire industry. 🚀

With Renee’s valuable insights and forward-thinking mindset, we are confident that TYS will continue to lead the way in transforming how the procurement and supply chain operates.

✨ Join us in congratulating Renee and let’s embark on this exciting journey together! Stay tuned for more updates as we work towards an even brighter future. Read the press release.

—————————————————————————————————
Trust Your Supplier (TYS) is a small Minority and Women-owned business with a global reach, offering an innovative blockchain-based solution for supplier and risk management to large and mid-size enterprises. By harnessing the immutability of the blockchain, TYS ensures daily monitoring with historical, predictive, and prescriptive risk insights, enabling trusted data exchange and workflow automation beyond traditional boundaries. This distributed ledger technology fosters transparency, efficiency, and empowerment for businesses to effectively manage suppliers and mitigate risks.

#ProcurementExcellence #DigitalTransformation #Procurement #ProcurementComliance #RiskManagement #SupplyChainSolutions #FinancialRiskMitigation #SanctionsCompliance #ESGStrategy #ClimateRiskManagement #SustainableSourcing #SupplyChainResilience #RiskandCompliance #EthicalSourcing #FinancialCompliance #ESGReporting #ClimateResilience #SupplierDiversity #GlobalTradeCompliance #SupplyChainVisibility #ESGPerformance #ClimateChangeAdaptation #ProcurementInnovation #RiskAssessment #SupplyChainRisk #EthicalBusiness #CarbonFootprint #SupplyChainTransparency #ESGInvesting #ClimatePolicy #SustainableProcurement #RegulatoryCompliance #ProcurementLeadership #CPO

Breaking News: Trust Your Supplier (TYS) Thrilled to be Spotlighted in Harvard Business Review Article

We’re absolutely elated to announce the release of the Harvard Business Review article that shines a spotlight on Trust Your Supplier (TYS) as the ultimate game-changer in supplier onboarding. It is with great excitement and pride that we share this incredible recognition with our TYS community and partners. 

Supplier onboarding – a necessary but often time-consuming process. It’s not uncommon for this vital step to take weeks or even months due to manual processes and documentation checks. But what if we told you there’s a game-changing disruptor on the horizon? Trust Your Supplier (TYS), as featured in the Harvard Business Review, is here to revolutionize supplier onboarding. TYS has harnessed the power of blockchain technology to create a worldwide network of buyers and suppliers, setting a new standard for supplier onboarding. 

So, what sets TYS apart? 

  1. Automation: TYS automates the cumbersome manual processes involved in vetting supplier data. Say goodbye to the days of lengthy onboarding.
  2. A Global Network: With over 100,000 fully vetted suppliers and partnerships with major players like BT Sourced, Lenovo, Nokia, Pearson, and Thermo Fisher, TYS has created a truly global network.
  3. Efficiency & Cost Savings: Purchasers using TYS have reported cost savings of nearly $500 per supplier. For enterprises with extensive supplier networks, this translates into eight-figure savings.
  4. Supplier Benefits: Suppliers experience an average onboarding time of less than a week, a 67% reduction. Plus, they can seamlessly work with multiple customers without the hassles of data duplication. 

We believe that a paradigm shift is underway in supply chain management and procurement. Organizations are increasingly adopting platform solutions like TYS to address systemic supply chain issues efficiently and collaboratively. TYS is leading the charge, revolutionizing supplier onboarding, and setting a new standard for the industry. 

Join us on this exciting journey toward a more efficient, collaborative, and cost-effective future. Learn more about how TYS is changing the game in supplier onboarding in our full article. 

harvard-business-review-logo-FD07ED9958-seeklogo.com

 

#SupplierOnboarding #SupplyChainRevolution #Blockchain #TYS #Efficiency #Collaboration #ProcurementExcellence #DigitalTransformation #Procurement #ProcurementComliance #RiskManagement #SupplyChainSolutions #FinancialRiskMitigation #SanctionsCompliance #ESGStrategy #ClimateRiskManagement #SustainableSourcing #SupplyChainResilience #RiskandCompliance #EthicalSourcing #FinancialCompliance #ESGReporting #ClimateResilience #SupplierDiversity #GlobalTradeCompliance #SupplyChainVisibility #ESGPerformance #ClimateChangeAdaptation #ProcurementInnovation #RiskAssessment #SupplyChainRisk #EthicalBusiness #CarbonFootprint #SupplyChainTransparency #ESGInvesting #ClimatePolicy #SustainableProcurement #RegulatoryCompliance #ProcurementLeadership #CPO  

Bridging the Gap Between the Intricacies of the Technological World and the Practicalities of Business Operations

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

In today’s age of digitalization, there exists a profound interconnectedness encompassing individuals, processes, institutions, and notably, risks. The junctures at which various forms of risk intersect—be it cyber, third-party, #compliance, operational, and more—are poised to proliferate in the foreseeable future.

Examining these risks in isolation falls short of offering a comprehensive perspective. Neglecting to grasp and scrutinize the interconnections and dependencies among them can result in shortsighted decision-making that does not align with overall risk tolerance levels and business objectives.

With diverse risk, audit, and compliance teams operating independently, often lacking a shared GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) terminology, opportunities arise for redundant efforts, duplicated work, inconsistent and disorganized data, and the overlap of controls. Measuring the interconnectedness and swiftness of risk also becomes a complex endeavor since risk relationships lack clear definitions and consequently elude monitoring.

It is imperative to adopt an integrated and all-encompassing approach to risk management—one that fosters connections among individuals, data, and systems, in contrast to separate risk initiatives.

At Trust Your Supplier (TYS), our approach seeks to dismantle organizational silos and facilitate a profound understanding of the multifaceted risks emanating from various corners of an organization and how their interplay can impact the business.

How are you managing all the silos in your industry? Can we help?

#ValueEngineers, #TechnologyInnovators, #BusinessStrategists, #DigitalTransformation, #UnconventionalThinking, #RiskMitigators, #TrustYourSupplier, #EfficiencyExperts, #ValueEngineering, #TechVisionaries, #ProblemSolvers, #OrganizationalGrowth, #ProcessOptimization 

The Evolution of Supplier Management (Part 2)

Winning the Tomorrow War, Today

by Gary Storr, General Manager

In Part 1, I talked about how this will be the first time your AI technology capability will – through Supplier Digital Identity, “put your organization ahead of future industry demands.”

I then emphasized the importance of “laying a universally consumable digital supplier identity foundation” today to achieve an unprecedented level of “supplier trust…and a single version of the truth.”

Let’s revisit the following graphic from the first post to understand the bridge or path to getting to trust and a single version of the truth.

 

If you take a step back to reflect on the above, it is hard to argue with the validity of the key points or theme. In short, moving to the “future state” that is Supplier Digital Identity sounds good.

But what does it mean, e.g., the future state of Supplier Digital Identity in the here and now? How do you leverage AI to get there? And what tangible benefits will it deliver? To put it another way, what good is my telling you about Eden and how great it is and then not showing you the way to get there?

It Isn’t About The Technology

As a service provider with what I believe is the most amazing technology in the industry, you will be surprised by what I am about to say.

Getting to that single version of truth and supplier insight is about something other than the technology. It is about the expertise behind that technology. To be clear, when I say expertise, I am not just talking about a deep understanding of how the technology works. I am talking about the knowledge and anticipation of the expected and unexpected external disruptions we face in a dynamic and complex world and how to leverage said technology to determine the appropriate response.

For example, the organizations with whom we work are consistently talking about:

  • Concern about the supplier data they house being accurate and current to ensure they have the latest view on that, supplier’s qualifications, credentials, performance, et cetera.
  • The flurry of the evolution of rules, standards, and requirements – that are much more diverse than they’ve ever been.
  • Adoption, cycle time reduction, and administration are “hugely important.”
  • Increasing awareness of the importance of “authoritative data.”

The above are only a few examples of where companies want and need to go to arrive at that future state of optimal supplier management capability. To reach this state of capability, you must look beyond the technology to assess your service provider’s ability to address these points and many others.

The Right Captain For The Right Vessel

You have to have a partner who will have the same vision as you do.

For example, if a partner is “established” in older technology, or if a partner doesn’t understand the regulatory compliance landscape worldwide, or doesn’t have some insights into particular industries that you’re in, you can be guided off course.

It’s a little bit like the analogy that there’s a difference between a sailboat and an oil tanker. You have to hire the right captain for the sailboat and hire a different captain for the oil tanker.

If you prefer something a little less nautical, In Good To Great, Jim Collins said – and I paraphrase “You have to have the right people in the right seats on the right bus.” What success ultimately comes down to is having the right service provider partner with the right expertise doing the right things!

If you do, you will successfully transition from the emerging standards of today to the necessary future state of Supplier Digital Identity and its competitive edge.

Reaping the Value of Value Engineers

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

In the fast-evolving landscape of technology, Value Engineers have emerged as pivotal influencers. Their primary role is to bridge the gap between the intricacies of the technological world and the practicalities of business operations, facilitating the seamless integration of technology systems with business strategies. This unassuming but significant community of professionals, with their knack for continuous collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving skills, have etched an indelible mark on many businesses, becoming our unsung heroes behind flourishing organizations during digital transformation. 

What is Value Engineering? 

Value engineering (VE), sometimes known as value analysis, represents a structured approach targeting the optimization of cost and functionality for products, processes, or systems. It’s a process that stimulates the elimination of excessive costs at various project stages while ensuring that quality and performance remain unaffected. 

Who are Value Engineers? 

Value Engineers are the remarkable, often unheralded, champions working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure maximum value is derived from technological products and systems. They are responsible for evaluating, identifying, and optimizing any process, successfully bridging the gap between technological innovation and organizational needs. Our technological world is shaped daily by these architects of innovation. 

Value Engineers bring countless benefits to organizations: 

  1. They’re Problem Solvers: They understand the complexities of systems, troubleshoot effectively to ensure their smooth operation and drive maximum value from them.
  2. They’re Insightful Strategists: Leveraging their profound understanding of technology and business interface, they formulate and execute successful strategies to boost productivity, reduce duplicated efforts, and foster the holistic evolution of organizations.
  3. They’re Visionaries: With a futuristic perspective, value engineers ensure that every technological endeavor aligns with the strategic goals and objectives of the company.
  4. They’re Collaborators: They streamline communication between diverse departments encouraging a culture of collaboration that respects the interrelationships of business operations.
  5. They’re Risk Mitigators: With a keen eye for potential vulnerabilities, they proactively implement safeguards, constantly refining processes and protocols to ensure a sturdy infrastructure that minimizes unforeseen challenges and secures the organization’s assets.
  6. They’re Efficiency Experts: Through constant process evaluation, value engineers significantly reduce unnecessary expenditures, increasing overall profitability and effectiveness. 

The Catalyst for Unconventional Thinking 

Incorporating diverse team members in value engineering is no longer optional – it’s essential. A diverse team kindles new viewpoints, propelling unconventional thinking that challenges the status quo. According to a 2019 report by McKinsey & Company, companies with the most culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 36% more likely to see above-average profits, a testimony to the transformative power of diversity. 

This critical observation underscores the immense transformative power of diversity. It is not merely a token or a tick mark on the corporate social responsibility agenda but a powerful tool that can shape organizational culture, drive business growth, and define industry trends. 

When a team is composed of individuals who perceive the world through varying lenses, it can engender unconventional thinking — the kind of thinking that routinely questions the status quo, doesn’t fear to tread the thin line between seemingly impossible and possible, and continually strives for betterment. This unconventional thinking often evolves into ingenious solutions, opening avenues of progress that were previously unseen or unthought of. 

Celebrating the Technical Experts and Visionary Leaders 

The value of value engineers cannot be underestimated. Their immense contribution is at the very heart of technological advancements. Their innovative and analytical minds bring a balance between cost-effectiveness, functional performance, and resource efficiency, significantly impacting the overall success of a project. We celebrate their resilience, innovation, and leadership, and remind every value engineer that their output is revered, appreciated, and always integral to our progressive march towards a technology-driven future. 

Incorporating the principles of value engineering can help you achieve the ideal balance between maximizing value and minimizing costs, leading to sustained success in the industry. 

As we help redefine the tech landscape, remember to embrace and elevate the guardians of technology – our value engineers. Let’s celebrate their accomplishments and acknowledge their expertise and vision, for they are the unseen champions writing the narrative of our technological advancement, one improvement at a time. 

#ValueEngineers, #TechnologyInnovators, #BusinessStrategists, #DigitalTransformation, #UnconventionalThinking, #RiskMitigators, #TrustYourSupplier, #EfficiencyExperts, #ValueEngineering, #TechVisionaries, #ProblemSolvers, #OrganizationalGrowth, #ProcessOptimization 

The Evolution of Supplier Management (Part 1)

Successfully Addressing Today’s Needs While Preparing for Tomorrow’s Challenges

by Gary Storr, General Manager

“How do we overlay today’s needs with tomorrow’s needs and build a bridge that organizations can invest in today and be ready for tomorrow?”

During a recent interview, I gave the above response to the question “Where is supplier management technology now, and what it will look like in the future?” It is seemingly a straightforward question. But underlying its simplicity is the complexity of building and proactively managing dynamic and interconnected supply networks in a volatile global marketplace.

Now one might think that as a solution provider, my focus would be on the technology part of the equation. Even though emerging AI technology is the main event when it comes to supplier management, you must look beyond it to the experience and expertise behind it.

Think about it for a moment. ESG investing began in the 1960s as “socially responsible investing, with investors excluding stocks or entire industries from their portfolios.” The industries on the no-investment list included tobacco companies and any businesses deemed to be supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Now ponder this fact – ESG reporting did not begin until 2004 under the UN “Who Cares Wins” banner. Here we are in 2023, and it is only recently that things like carbon emissions, ESG, and global compliance have become emerging mainstream regulatory concerns.

The above “timeline” raises two essential questions:

  • Why are companies now scrambling to comply with new legislative requirements and proposed future ones when we saw this train coming as far back as the 1960s?
  • Regarding future regulations, e.g., ESG, what will the reporting (and technology) requirements be next year or decade? By the way, if you want a glimpse into what is on the compliance horizon, check out the following ESG Regulations link.

From my standpoint and experience, we need to do two things so that we don’t continue to play catch-up with known and unknown compliance realities. In today’s post, I will tell you the two things you need to do to stop chasing compliance and start mastering (and benefiting) from it.

First, A History Timeline Review

 

Regarding the evolution of supplier management platforms, the old saying “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” tells a notable story.

In the above graphic, you will note how we have progressed from a “blind trust” qualification process to where we are today – somewhere between email and spreadsheets and corporate web portals.

As your service provider, you will be happy to know that we are on the leading edge of the emerging standard: enterprise supplier networks. I will get into what this emerging standard is shortly.

That said, we have also created an overlay between today’s and tomorrow’s supplier management needs. Why is this important?

It is important because instead of implementing technology to catch up with emerging requirements, we are also creating a seamless bridge to put you out front of the proverbial curve to address not yet known future requirements. If you think about it, this will be the first time that your AI technology capability will – through supplier digital identity, put your organization ahead of future industry demands. 

The Here And Now

In Part 2 of this series, I will get into the specifics of supplier digital identity. However, we can’t take our eyes off the immediate challenges you face in managing your present-day supplier network, including the importance of:

  • Reliable supplier data
  • Digital supplier discovery
  • Minimized administration
  • 3rd party verifications

Through this immediate capability, you will meet today’s demands while laying a universally consumable digital supplier identity foundation that will create unprecedented supplier trust and a single version of the truth.

Up Next: The Evolution of Supplier Management (Part 2) – Winning The Tomorrow War, Today

FAQ: How do questionnaires play a role in supplier compliance & risk management?

Frequently Asked Question: How do questionnaires play a role in supplier compliance & risk management?

How do questionnaires play a role in supplier compliance & risk management?   Trust Your Supplier (TYS) questionnaire features range from supplier self-audit forms to predictive questionnaires. 

Learn more about these and other questionnaire features with these resources: 

TYS Questionnaire Features Infographic 

The “Q” Word blog post

Unlocking the Potential of Data-Driven Procurement Teams with Actionable Insights

by Michelle Armstrong, Chief Relationship Officer

Pssst… The secret to unlocking the full potential of procurement lies in embracing the power of data. With a wealth of raw information at our fingertips, it’s crucial to transform this data into actionable insights that fuel informed decision-making. Learn how to satisfy your thirst for actionable procurement data by leveraging cutting-edge tools and strategies to turn raw information into valuable insights that propel your procurement operations to new heights. 

Rob Handfield, a distinguished professor of supply chain management, emphasizes that digital transformation in procurement is only possible with clean data. When discussing procurement data, we’re really talking about the importance of usable, clean data. 

Despite the vast amounts of data captured, only about 5% is analyzed. With the rapid growth of emerging technologies, we have more data than ever, yet we need more insight. So, how can we convert this information into intelligence? 

Visualizing a New World of Data 

Data visualization is a game-changer in making complex data more accessible and understandable. By presenting data in a visually engaging format, procurement teams can quickly identify patterns, trends, and relationships that might be concealed within raw data. Utilizing data visualization tools like interactive dashboards and detailed reports allows valuable insights to be easily communicated and understood, empowering teams to make data-driven decisions. 

Moreover, data visualization can help procurement professionals monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time, track supplier performance, and identify potential bottlenecks in the supply chain. By embracing this visual approach, organizations can transform their procurement processes and drive efficiency across the board. 

Collaborative Minds, United Goals 

To unlock the full potential of procurement data, it’s crucial to involve diverse perspectives and expertise. Cross-functional teams, composed of members from various departments, can work together to analyze data and develop innovative solutions. This collaborative approach enables organizations to leverage their employees’ unique skills and knowledge, fostering a culture of open communication and teamwork. 

By breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration, organizations can tap into the collective wisdom of their workforce and drive data-driven decision-making across the enterprise. This united effort leads to more effective procurement strategies and promotes a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. 

Embracing the Power of Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning 

The combination of predictive analytics and machine learning offers a powerful toolset for procurement teams to uncover hidden insights and make more informed decisions. By analyzing historical data, these advanced techniques can identify trends, forecast future outcomes, and recommend actions to optimize procurement processes. 

For instance, procurement teams can use predictive analytics to optimize inventory levels by identifying patterns in demand and adjusting stock levels accordingly. This ensures organizations balance carrying costs and stock availability, ultimately reducing waste and improving efficiency. 

Similarly, predictive analytics can help identify supplier risks by analyzing factors such as financial stability, delivery performance, and compliance. This enables procurement teams to proactively mitigate risks and maintain a resilient supply chain. 

Machine learning can further enhance procurement decision-making by continuously learning from data and refining its predictions over time. This allows organizations to uncover cost-saving opportunities, streamline processes, and stay ahead of the competition in an ever-evolving market landscape. 

Cultivating a Data-Driven Culture 

In her Procurement Magazine interview, Dawn Tiura explained that procurement should be the central hub of a successful enterprise with a culture of service-driven curiosity. This mindset should also extend to mining the gold within data. 

When Satya Nadella became Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, he emphasized creating a data culture to make better decisions based on quality data. Under his leadership, Microsoft has transformed into an organization that values data-driven decision-making, recognizing the immense potential of quality data to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth. 

So, does your organization have a data culture that includes your suppliers? 

To extract the most value from your data, involving stakeholders within and outside your enterprise is crucial. The procurement department must lead in fostering a data-driven culture, harnessing the potential of technologies like AI and blockchain. 

As a service provider, your success is my priority.  

By embracing diverse perspectives, leveraging data visualization, and harnessing advanced analytics, your organization can unlock the full potential of procurement data and drive meaningful business outcomes. 

#ProcurementData #DataDrivenCulture #DataVisualization #Collaboration #PredictiveAnalytics #MachineLearning #DigitalTransformation #EmpowerProcurement #FutureOfProcurement 

How To Avoid The Non-Compliance Speed Trap (What’s the Opposite of Cynical?) – Part 2

by Nick Picone, Trust Your Supplier VP of Advisory Practice

In my last post, I shared my thoughts on the coming regulatory headwinds and potential financial implications that all companies that lack efficient and effective supplier management capabilities will eventually face.

Today, I want to share insights from conversations I’ve had with leaders across the supply chain, procurement, and compliance officers at the various conferences I’ve attended with my team over the last three months.

Risk is Increasing

Nearly every discussion I had involved an extraordinary level of intellectual curiosity about what my company TYS does and what I saw in my day-to-day role as we partner with companies across the globe on their risk and compliance transformation initiatives.

I explained that nearly everyone understands they lack the comprehensive visibility across their supplier base to effectively manage risk and compliance at scale. I also shared a reasonably bold opinion that many companies I am meeting with face the increased risk of a supply chain extinction-level event due to a perfect storm across their small and middle-tier suppliers.

Some people challenged my position – which you expect – or mentioned that the level of risk I was referring to did not apply to their company which I was also willing to debate. The good news is that nearly all were interested in understanding why I thought the way I did and what I was looking at or seeing that shaped my view.

I explained that small and medium-tier suppliers are most at risk from this “perfect storm” we all face. It is especially important to recognize that these small and medium-tier suppliers could also be strategic and to understand the risk most companies face today by only focusing on their top-tier suppliers due to cost and complexity issues. In other words, companies generally have very little clarity into the situation beyond the first-tier suppliers until it’s too late.

Pre-COVID Survival

Before the pandemic and the world-changing events of the past few years, many small to medium-sized companies were practically on life support, and continued to exist because of favorable lending standards and the abnormally low cost of capital over the previous fourteen-year period. These historically low rates and easier access to credit provided a lifeline to businesses, particularly small and middle-tier suppliers who barely made it and primarily relied on regional banks to provide access to capital.

The Perfect Storm

Today, the problems we face as a society are well known. We find ourselves in a new environment; the optimal operating conditions of the past have quickly eroded and created the previously alluded to perfect storm characterized by exploding interest rates, tightening lending standards (especially across regional banks), inflation, geopolitical risk, and shortages across the supply chain. These events, taking place concurrently, are creating the most challenging financial climate – and operating environment for business – in at least fifty years. As a result, there is a dramatic increase in the risk of a significant shock to the global financial system that begins with regional banks and will ultimately impact companies and consumers.

Supporting Data

It may seem bold to suggest that many – okay, a significant portion of a company’s supply base may not be in business in 18 months. I realize that it is impossible to predict the future. Still, it is possible to see around corners, especially when you have complete visibility over your supplier base and access to instant real-time intelligence.

For example, let me share several “sobering” present-day statistics that will illustrate just how much stress your small and middle-tier suppliers are under – particularly diverse suppliers.

A record number of small businesses folded during the pandemic, and African American businesses were unfortunately “the hardest hit” with a drop of 41%, followed by a 32% decline in Latino-owned businesses.” As a point of comparison, the decrease in white-owned businesses was 17%.

Those numbers are hard to accept for some, which is understandable because they surprise many.

The Opposite of Cynical – Clarity

I understand technically, the opposite of cynicism is optimism. However, for anyone to become optimistic – which I am, by the way – I believe you need a clear line of sight to understand your current reality – where you are, where you want to go, and what you must overcome to get there.

However, you can only achieve your goals with a solid and stable supply base that includes your small and medium-tier suppliers.

The two questions you now must ask – and be able to answer, how stable and resilient is your value chain beyond your tier-one suppliers? How do you really know?