Managing Supplier Risk with Third Party Supplier Data

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1 Due to ongoing concerns about risk in an era of economic uncertainty, organizations today must do a better job of monitoring the day-to-day events impacting their suppliers. In fact, in Aberdeen's August 2012 report, Supplier Lifecycle Management: Measuring Performance While Mitigating Risk, 43% of 132 survey respondents indicated that incomplete information regarding corporate supplier relationships is a top business pressure affecting supplier management. Organizations increasingly rely on third party data to obtain the latest information about their suppliers to create a more comprehensive picture of their supply base. This Analyst Insight looks at how organizations use third-party supplier data, and provides suggestions for improving its use. September 2012 Analyst Insight Aberdeen s Insights provide the analyst's perspective on the research as drawn from an aggregated view of research surveys, interviews, and data analysis Why the Need for Additional Supplier Information? During any supplier onboarding process, supplier managers need to collect basic supplier information such as primary contacts, business addresses, tax identification numbers (TINs) and insurance certificates. Having this information is fundamental in establishing the working relationship. Once a supplier is on-boarded, organizations also track supplier information and supplier performance based on contract compliance and transactions (purchase order, invoicing) through internal systems such as ERP, MRP, or e-procurement systems. However, these systems on their own do not provide information on market trends or news updates that can impact the supplier or supply chain. Hence additional data from third party sources becomes necessary to identify potential red flags such as credit risk, fraud, legal challenges, and regulatory compliance requirements that cannot be surmised from a basic supplier profile and internally generated information alone. The use of third party supplier data has also become more pervasive due to the accessibility of data from the web. In fact, only 11% of the survey respondents from the Supplier Lifecycle Management: Measuring Performance While Mitigating Risk (August 2012) report stated that they do not currently collect third party information on their suppliers, demonstrating that this practice has become a norm within global supply management departments. Organizations looking for third party supplier information can easily collect news that makes mention of a supplier or related industry (i.e. Twitter, RSS Feeds) and collect this information for improving a supplier profile. More advanced approaches look to subscribe to third party data providers such as licensed content providers, business directories, or use supplier portals/networks for the ability compile and analyze third party supplier information from trusted sources. Definition of Third Party Data Third Party Supplier Data is any data that would not have been obtainable from internal sources or directly provided by a supplier during a supplier lifecycle. Third Party Supplier data comes in many forms. This includes supplier profiles, financial, public record (i.e. court records, watch lists, sanctions) to information related to high-profile individuals within an organization. The use of third party data complements data being generated internally on suppliers such as supplier performance and transaction data, while providing deeper insights for sourcing and procurement through the ability to better monitor supplier behavior. This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.

2 Page 2 To further illustrate this point, Figure 1 shows that most organizations today are actually using third party supplier data to track activity of their most critical suppliers which generally follows the Pareto principle (i.e. top 20% suppliers represents 80% of spend). The graph also shows that leading organizations are looking beyond critical suppliers, where a majority of Bestin-Class organizations (see sidebar definition) are actually tracking more than 50% of their supplier base using third party supplier information. Figure 1: Reliance on Third Party Data to Track Suppliers 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 56% 24% 39% 56% 18% Supplier Lifecycle Management Definition For the report, Supplier Lifecycle Management: Measuring Performance While Mitigating Risk (August 2012) were determined using the following metrics: Percent of suppliers demonstrating on-time delivery or meet commit / project completion dates 85% of 59% of 10% 0% We track the majority of our suppliers (over 50%) We only track critical suppliers 6% 1% We outsource supplier tracking to a third party (Percentage of survey respondents, n=132) 0% We do not track suppliers Average percent of cost savings achieved since implementing a supplier management initiative 12% of 7% of This behavior may be grounded in the increasing amount of information being generated today as part of the Big Data trend. In its simplest terms, the concept of Big Data describes any type of data, structured or unstructured such as text, sensor data, audio, video, activity streams, log files which today is being collected in terabytes (1trillion bytes), petabytes (1quadrillion bytes) or even larger. The volume of third party supplier information available as part of this trend provides the potential for new awareness and opportunity to track a larger supplier base that was just not possible in the past. Measurable benefits to increased use of Third Party Supplier Data Increasing the use of third party supplier data provides a means to improve supplier management within an organization. For instance Table 1 divides respondents based on how they use third party information to monitor suppliers. Organizations using third party data to monitor more of their supplier base had fewer suppliers experience catastrophic failure (i.e. environmental disaster, geo-political issues, bankruptcy) in the past months and higher percent of suppliers demonstrating on-time delivery or meet project completion dates. The table also shows that organizations using third party data to monitor more of their supplier base also had a higher percentage of suppliers that demonstrate on-time delivery or meet project completion dates. Average time to on-board suppliers in the enterprise 13 days for 24 of : top 20% of the aggregate performance scores Industry Average: middle 50% of aggregate performance scores Laggards: bottom 30% of aggregate performance scores

3 Page 3 Table 1: Use of third-party supplier information for tracking a percentage of the supplier base Global Supply Management Metric Track 50% or more of suppliers n=27 Only critical suppliers n=47 Don t track n= 13 Percentage of suppliers experiencing catastrophic failure in the past months, resulting in an inability to deliver product or services during an extended period of time. Percent of suppliers demonstrating on-time delivery or meeting project completion dates. 4% 4% 6% 74% 68% 57% Augmenting existing internal supplier data (e.g. transactions, existing vendor masters) with additional external third party sources provides a more 360 degree view of suppliers. While correlation does not imply causation, the usage of third party data does provide an improved means to prevent working with suppliers that have bad track records ranging from legal challenges, fraud or other measurable risks. Therefore as shown in Table 1, using third party information to help understand the supplier base may influence the ability to minimize risk by 1. preventing potential failures with suppliers that become recognized as high risk and 2. improve the ability to reduce costs for better supplier performance. Approaches to Third Party Supplier Data Figure 2 shows that organizations are differentiating themselves from their peers in how they use and access third party supplier data. are more focused on the use of licensed or paid market intelligence services, and 48% more likely than other firms (68% vs. 46%) to choose licensed market intelligence services over search engines and business directories. Licensed market intelligence services provide the benefit of aggregating supplier information available from disparate data sources and are often responsible for creating proprietary information (i.e. index, scores, ratings) for evaluating suppliers. companies are also less reliant on other forms of third-party data. For instance, 47% of compared to 54% of all organizations use search engines to find additional information on their suppliers. This is the most accessible way of obtaining third party data on suppliers, but the limitation with using this approach alone is that it assumes search results for key words being searched are optimized for that supplier. Moreover, search engines can only read text that is posted not images,

4 Page 4 animation or forms. Similarly, language is also a limitation if data on suppliers is not being translated into the language being used for the search. Figure 2: Sources of Third Party Supplier Data 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 68% 46% 54% 47% 47% Licensed market Search engine intelligence service (e.g., Bing, Google, Yahoo) also use business directories 42% more often (47% vs. 33%) than all other organizations. Business directories provide a collective and aggregate view of potential suppliers on a common web site, which can be organized based on regional and global segments. These sites often provide additional information on suppliers such as primary contacts and affiliated certifications. While this represents a more direct approach to obtaining third party supplier information than search engines, this method assumes the supplier in question is active on the business directory site or is actively monitored by the business site provider hosting the business directory. 33% Business directories (Percentage of survey respondents, n=132) 37% 23% Business social networks / supplier networks Licensed Market Intelligence Services Licensed Market Intelligence services are the most frequently used source of third party supplier data. These services provide a comprehensive view of marketplace from several different sources that can provide premium information sources and proprietary solutions that may be unobtainable from other sources. organizations are 47% more likely to use licensed market intelligence services over search engines and business directories, the next two most used sources of third party supplier data. Finally, a newer trend shows third party information becoming a bigger part of supplier portals or networks for organizations that have adopted them to exchange business documents. Supplier networks add a commercial aspect to the information picture, since they are tied to e-sourcing, supplier lifecycle management, and e-procurement functions. Supplier networks provide an additional means for supplier discovery to suppliers that are already business-ready for exchanging business documents and transacting online though the network. In this regard, the Supplier Lifecycle Management: Measuring Performance While Mitigating Risk (August 2012) report shows Best-in-class are 61% more likely (37% vs. 23%) to use supplier networks, compared with all other organizations, as a source of third party supplier data. Moreover much of the value supplier networks are providing is based on licensed market intelligence from content providers that partner with these networks. How are Organizations collecting Third Party Data? Figure 3 shows three common ways for collecting, managing and viewing third party supplier information. Regardless of maturity class, most

5 Page 5 organizations use some form of (corporate or personal) which provides third party supplier data by way of subscription to a particular web site, blog or RSS feed sent from various news aggregator / primary content providers. Figure 3: Methods of Accessing Third Party Data View from Corporate or Personal Pull 3rd party information into enterprise applications (collection / integration and validation) View from mobile applications (e.g., ipad, smartphones, tablets) for monitoring / reporting on supplier information 6% (Percentage of survey respondents, n=132) Figure 3 also shows that fewer organizations are pulling third party information into enterprise tools (Business Intelligence, ERP, MRP, eprocurement) for viewing within dashboards or reports. The graph shows 39% of and 35% of all others using enterprise applications to view third party data. This approach takes the process of managing third party supplier data away from the individual, to the enterprise level. Pulling data into enterprise systems creates consistency by enabling all users to access the same data and provides a better means for implementing alerts from the various systems where third party data is being imported. However, coordinating enterprise data pulls from third party supplier providers requires IT staff to integrate proper APIs (Application Programming Interface), ETLs (Extract, Transact & Load) and / or to customize software applications for indexing and processing topics from the third party data sources which may be why organizations in all maturity classes are less likely to use it. Finally mobile applications are the least used for sharing information, perhaps because of their recent arrival on the enterprise stage. However, as the consumer world continues to influence business, the development of applications on mobile devices by third party data content providers will likely play a larger role for how users monitor supplier activities. Access to third party supplier information on mobile devices allows organizations to respond quicker to news and events outside of the four walls of the organization. This is particularly important for organizations in industries that rely on a mobile workforce. While mobile devices are currently not as frequently used as other means, Figure 3 shows that are adopting this approach more than their peers and represents an opportunity 20% 35% 39% 49% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 58% Decrease in Public Information Obtaining detailed information on companies if they are not publically traded is more difficult without access to third party sources. Once seen as the measure of success for any corporation, the long-term trend has been a pullback away from going public in the form of initial public offerings (IPO s). Recent research from the The Economist shows the number of public companies has fallen dramatically by 38% in America since 1997 and 48% in Britain, with a particular decline among small companies. Reasons for this decline point to the burden of regulation due to compliance and regulation (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection) and increased dissatisfaction from shareholders related to the sluggish performance of global stock markets over the past several years.

6 Page 6 for content providers to distribute third party information to a wider base of users Interpreting the Types of Third Party Supplier Data An analysis of third party supplier data also suggests that there are essentially two ways to benefit from the use of third party supplier data when that data is drawn from both an organizational level and an individual level (i.e. corporate executive, person of interest within the organization). organizations are 24% more likely than all other organizations (72% v. 58%) to use company profiles to augment information on their suppliers. These profiles include detailed company descriptions, and key financial and industry information that can augment an existing vendor/supplier master profile within an enterprise system. Through the use of a licensed market intelligence service, online business directories and supplier networks, organizations can search on company profiles and even compare multiple suppliers based on common industry codes or business descriptions. Figure 4: Use of Third Party Supplier Data Supplier v. Individual Company profiles (e.g., company description, key information, key financials, industry information) 58% 72% Executive profiles (bio, formal education, yrs expeirence, influence in the organization) 9% 32% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% (Percentage of survey respondents, n=132) Executive profiles are also important to understanding underlying dynamics of an organization. Seeing the backgrounds of the highest-profile individuals provides more insights into how an organization behaves, and its potential risks. While corporate home pages often provide a high-level profile of their executives, third party data provides access to millions of contacts globally in a concise way, under one umbrella that goes beyond what is selfreported. Figure 4 shows are 2.6 times more likely to be using executive profiles than all other organizations (32% vs. 9%). Furthermore, executive profiles and company profiles are accessible via a single licensed market intelligence services or business directories allowing for an efficient and more robust view into an organization

7 Page 7 Expanding Visibility into Supplier Risk from Third Party Data Similar to gathering profile information, when it comes to obtaining more information on supplier risk, organizations are keen on getting the dirt on their suppliers at both corporate and individual levels. Information that can provide more insights into supplier behavior include litigation / court rulings, watch lists / blacklists, compliance (e.g. OSHA, diversity) and sanctions. Information on legal proceedings is the most common, because it enables organizations to assess risk based on civil and criminal filings as well as court rulings. Figure 5: Use of Third Party Supplier Data to Identify Risk Factors Legal (e.g., civil and criminal filings, criminal history, court rulings) Risk & Compliance (e.g. Geo-political, OSHA, Labor Actions, Diversity) Watchlist / Blacklist (e.g., national and international wanted) Sanctions (e.g., OFAC, NASD, SEC, HUD, HHS, Interpol, Federal & State agencies, Insurance providers) 16% 14% Other types of supplier risk-related data reflected in Figure 5 hit at the heart of a wider concept of corporate social responsibility or CSR, an increasingly important means for organizations to self-regulate according to ethical and social standards. Based on the increased importance of CSR, organizations of all sizes and in all industries face increased pressures to manage compliance beyond commercial expectations they are developing social and environmental conscience. As a result these organizations are more apt to monitor their suppliers to their internal standards. 21% 33% 32% 37% 47% 53% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% (Percentage of survey respondents, n=132) Impact of legislation on Supplier Lifecycle Management Within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010, new requirements for manufacturers of products containing tin, tantalum, gold, tungsten or any other conflict metals. Section 1502 of the new law imposes direct U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting requirements on any publicly traded companies whose products contain metals derived from conflict minerals. Companies will be required to submit a due diligence plan with their annual SEC report. In August the SEC finally voted for the adoption of conflict minerals regulations required by Section 1502 of the Dodd- Frank Financial Reform Act. In fact, Aberdeen research from The Year of the Supplier Perspectives on Supplier Management in 2011 (May 2011) found that in a rapidly changing landscape, organizations are becoming much more aware of their "public performance" their visible impact on social, labor, economic, and environmental activities. Based on this report, companies are actually two times more likely to focus on establishing CSR programs through formal supplier relationships teams or supplier boards than all other organizations (28% vs. 8%). The Need for Tracking Third Party Data Globally While organizations are likely to have more access to information on nearby suppliers (i.e. language, location), the increased globalization of

8 Page 8 business is forcing organizations to seek improved access to supplier information from specific geographic regions. For instance, in Supplier Lifecycle Management: Measuring Performance While Mitigating Risk (August 2012) Aberdeen found that suppliers from emerging markets (i.e. Brazil, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Turkey) on average represented 18% of the supplier base in an organization. Information about doing business in specific regions of the world can be supplied by public sources such as the OECD, The World Bank, World Factbook or other governmental / regional authorities and economic content providers. The information provided on these sites, however, is often limited to statistics and figures such as taxation, immigration, and legal aspects of doing business in a particular region or country; these sites offer little guidance in identifying specific companies in developing economies. As a result, organizations are increasingly using third party data to track supplier data whether domestic or rooted in sources that are abroad. Figure 6: Regions where Third-Party Supplier information is collected North America (incl. USA, Canada, Mexico) Europe (EU) Asia / Pacific Europe (Non-EU) South / Central America / Caribbean Middle East Africa 30% 14% 25% 18% 20% 13% 15% 18% 65% 66% 60% 53% 50% 47% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Figure 6 demonstrates that most respondents in all maturity classes are collecting third party information from emerging economic regions such as non EU-Europe, Asia, South America, Middle East and Africa. While these regions are expected to develop, companies may continue finding it difficult to obtain data on organizations in these regions due to lack of infrastructure, government corruption, regional conflicts, customs, and local economic environments that were not supportive for global business. However as more business is expected to develop in emerging economies over the next several years, the quality and quantity of third party supplier data will likely increase to meet global compliance requirements related to far-reaching and influential legislation such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices

9 Page 9 Act of 1977 (FCPA) and Dodd-Frank Section 1502: Supply-chain due diligence in the United States, or the Bribery Act 2010 in the UK. Recommendations Crucial supplier data is often siloed into many different locations within organizations, preventing them from receiving timely insights on events that can be catastrophic or high risk. Based on Aberdeen research, organizations need to augment existing supplier information with third party data on their suppliers, by adopting these practices: Get started with managing Third Party Data At a minimum, organizations currently not using third party data must adopt a strategy that links them with their most critical suppliers. While monitoring more than 50% of all suppliers through third party supplier data is an accomplishment achieved only by the Best-in- Class, a focus on monitoring data sources that are most important for critical suppliers is the best starting point. Organizations just starting to monitor their supplier base with third party data should consider adopting a subscription to licensed market intelligence services or business service directories use that can consolidate many points of data under one system. Using this step-by-step approach of starting with the most critical suppliers allows organizations to select the types of third party data most beneficial. Consider the deployment approach for third party data There is no one-size-fits-all for third party data. Some organizations allow individuals responsible for supplier management activities to monitor suppliers through individual efforts such as s or RSS feeds. Others are more focused on integrating this data deep into enterprise and business intelligence applications that ultimately are viewed or displayed during supplier analysis. Moreover, there may also be existing infrastructures where third party supplier data can be leveraged, such as supplier networks, where suppliers are already collaborating with buyers and may be more apt to provide information on their profiles for improving commerce opportunities. Given the number of options, it is important to understand an organization s history of success or failure when deploying technology. Therefore it is wise to consider involving IT in the effort, which could require an investment in technology infrastructure, software, or services for accessing the third party supplier data. Consider dynamic strategies for third party data based on your core business needs Organizations increasingly face the risk of being behind the curve when it comes to collecting supplier information. Creating a strategy that allows organizations to hone in on critical risks remains a challenge for most organizations. Based on the results of the, it is evident that using a combination of third party data content with internal supplier data

10 Page 10 achieves the best results for resolving issues with suppliers preemptively, and improving supplier performance post-delivery. Indeed, using licensed market intelligence services in conjunction with other business services or supplier networks may prove to be the most effective approach for organizations with a mature supplier lifecycle management process in place. Investigating potential overlap of data elements in existing technology platforms is also essential to reduce redundancy and identify the types of third party supplier that are most needed. For more information on this or other research topics, please visit Advanced Sourcing: Maximizing Savings Identification; June 2012 Supplier Networks v2.0 A Look at Commerce in the Cloud; March 2012 Dynamic Procurement: The CPO as Collaborator, Innovator and Strategist; August 2011 Supplier Networks: Moving Beyond the Traditions of E-procurement.; June 2011 B2B Integration and Collaboration: Strategies for Building a ROI Business Case; June 2011 Related Research The Year of the Supplier: Perspectives on Supplier Management in 2011; May 2011 The State of Strategic Sourcing; March 2011 Effective eprocurement: Assessing Options for the New Economic Normal; November 2010 Strategic Sourcing: The 2010 Guide to Driving Savings and Procurement Performance; March 2010 Author: Constantine Limberakis, Senior Research Analyst Aberdeen Group - Global Supply Management For more than two decades, Aberdeen's research has been helping corporations worldwide become. Having benchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provide organizations with the facts that matter the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. That's why our research is relied on by more than 2.5 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% of the Technology 500. As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen s research provides insight and analysis to the Harte-Hanks community of local, regional, national and international marketing executives. Combined, we help our customers leverage the power of insight to deliver innovative multichannel marketing programs that drive business-changing results. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) , or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) or go to This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc. (2012a)

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