9. SupplyShift - The Internet for Supply Chain Sustainability
Statement:
Enhancing supply chain sustainability for companies with many suppliers requires data collection and a mechanism to use information to encourage supplier sustainability improvements. Buyers are increasingly asking suppliers to fill out questionnaires either based on existing standards or their own priorities, but there is no system that effectively uses this information to incentivize supplier sustainability improvement. There are three barriers to effective use of supplier information: (1) Many buyers use spreadsheets to manage supplier information, which makes tracking, analyzing, and using information difficult. (2) The use of multiple standards and questionnaires is both a burden to suppliers and makes comparisons across buyers, sectors, and product categories difficult. (3) It is difficult for buyers to cost-effectively use information to motivate suppliers to improve sustainability performance, especially since suppliers cannot evaluate their position within their industry.
Summary:
SupplyShift is a secure, cloud-based enterprise sustainability management platform for companies with many suppliers to reduce risk and enhance sustainability in supply chains using an interactive metrics-based system that encourages competition and information sharing to drive improvement. It is built on the concept that information transparency can incentive action. SupplyShift: 1. Provides a system to collect supply chain sustainability information through scorecards based on existing standards such as GRI, The Sustainability Consortium, Carbon Disclosure Project, and others, as well as user-defined metrics. SupplyShift will show a popularity rating for each metric and scorecard in the system, based on how many suppliers have used it within an industry. This will allow popular metrics to rise to the top, and enable convergence around the metrics that buyers find most useful. 2. Incentivize competition among suppliers to drive supply chain improvements by making anonymous supplier scores visible to all suppliers within a sector or product category. Suppliers will be able to view their scores in relation to suppliers that sell to the buyer who requested the scorecard. In addition, they can view scores of all suppliers in the system within their sector. 3. Facilitates supplier sustainability improvement by providing a system for suppliers to share information about best practices and actions taken to reduce impact. This social networking feature allows high-performing suppliers to brag about their achievements and reduces to burden on buyers to provide information to suppliers about how to improve. 4. Expands options for sustainable sourcing by allowing buyers to compare their own suppliers with anonymous scores of other suppliers in the system within the same sector or product category. This provides an easy way for buyers to find out about other suppliers that may be able to provide more sustainable goods and services. 5. Improves the quality of data entered by suppliers. SupplyShift uses an internal algorithm to identify outliers, and an overall data quality score is displayed based on the percent of questions that have verification information attached. 6. Enables buyers to flexibly analyze information collected from suppliers to understand overall supply chain footprint and how each of their suppliers contribute to it.
Why it should be recognized:
SupplyShift has the potential to transform buyer-supplier interactions to improve sustainability across the supply chain using the power of information and communication. SupplyShift is the only unified platform to collect and share supplier information in a way that incentivizes competition among suppliers. SupplyShift is disruptive technology that meets the needs to large companies seeking to mitigate risk found in unsustainable supply chains. SupplyShift is being developed by EcoShift Development, a team led by Ph.D. level environmental scientists and policy analysts who consult with leading firms on corporate sustainability, and our in-depth understanding of how large companies manage supply chain sustainability helps us create the ideal solution.
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2 comments:
On Mar 15, 2013 zann.gill said: Supply chain is a critical sustainability domain where there is innovative thinking. Your concept would implement a valuable systemic method.
On Feb 22, 2013 Thomas.Loeber said: Interesting. I'm not sure what you mean by “secure, cloud-based enterprise sustainability management platform.” Disclosure of exactly who the “others” providing the judging standards needs to be explicit to weigh potential merits. Is the data server based? What is the general business model behind this idea? Is it a company that manages it? Is it a software application that funds itself through its sales? Is the data stored on individual computers and concurrently updated or is it held on a server? If popularity is a factor wont that inherently denigrate potential otherwise high ranking new suppliers? I hold a general disfavor with voting systems and I think my misgivings apply to rating systems too. If they are centralized then they are subject to being targeted by interests to bias results. The information explosion brings ever new ways to cheat and plenty of first hand evidence by us all attests to that. I like the idea of anonymity but too much and you possibly allow fake personages employed by companies to boost their ratings. Too little, of course, is also problematic as this gives targets for nefarious interests for various nefarious means to corrupt the signal. I would also fear that if this got some support the institutions listed as providing standards would be targeted by powerful interests vested in nonsustainability. I also wonder why the target is not the individual consumer and their necessary supply chains instead of companies. I guess the general paradigm that is hard to shake is that our institutions are more valuable than ourselves. As far as I can tell the longevity of institutions has been in a steady decline over the millenia while potential human life span has steadily increased. People who act as “buyers and suppliers” are only a small portion of the population and maybe not those who hold the general population's welfare at heart.

I did give it a rating but I think if it does go on it is liable to sputter out sort of as I think maybe companies in general would not want such a critter or at least without some ready means to corrupt its operation.
Submitted: Dec 07, 2012
Author: James Barsimantov
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