Making The World A Better Place With The Right Digital Tools

Tanya Bragg

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As globalization makes the lives of individuals all over the planet more interrelated than ever before, social responsibility becomes everyone’s responsibility. And procurement specialists have a unique opportunity to make the world a better place through the work they do every day.

Global commerce has accelerated in conjunction with the Internet, escalating at an ever-faster pace over the past 20 years. This digital world is expanding the scope and availability of information, including risk information. As a result, more companies are transforming from being reactive to proactively managing risk through defined risk-remediation processes. Both buyers and suppliers want to achieve greater transparency in their relationships. And with relatively small incidents becoming front-page news very quickly, every company is increasingly eager to avoid getting caught in brand issues.

Despite this growing awareness and effort to reduce risk, however, problems still abound – particularly when it comes to managing your supply chain. For example:

  • One-time or selective supplier due diligence can compromise your business and reputation
  • Manual risk scoring by supplier is expensive and time consuming and can miss market signals, even with Google search
  • Without consolidated risk information, you may unknowingly engage at-risk suppliers, leading to costly and unrecoverable business disruptions

The good news is that the right digital solutions can help you meet these and other supplier-risk problems head on. They provide insight and tools that enable your users to make smarter, safer decisions before a purchase simply by making risk due diligence a natural part of the procurement process.

For example, some solutions let you tailor risk views and alerts to your business, to each supplier relationship, and to your role, and even to segment suppliers based on your risk exposure. Features like these give you a complete view of each supplier so you can make more timely, contextual, and accurate business decisions – and improve collaboration with your trading partners. They also keep buyers well-informed, so they’re more likely to make choices that prevent supply-chain disruptions. The result? You not only avoid damage to your revenue and reputation, but also gain a high degree of confidence that your supplier information is correct and up to date.

“We can do good in the world if we have the right information available to us,” says James Edward Johnson, director of Global Supply Chain Risk Management and Analytics at Nielsen, explaining how innovative digital solutions support powerful change that transcends risk management alone. Through the solution his company uses, Johnson says, “I can bring better integrity and greater transparency into the market. And more personally, I can bring improvements into the lives of workers in impoverished communities, I can preserve Earth for future generations, and I can stop the practices that breed corruption and oppress a lot of people in many areas of the world where usually we’re just blind to what’s happening in our supply chain.”

In addition to the obvious business and social benefits, adopting such a solution creates a ripple effect that positively impacts generations to come. “When I’m at the end of my life, I don’t want my kids to think I spent all this time at work just building a pile of money and making it a more secure pile of money,” Johnson says. “I want to know that my children believe I made the world a better place.”

Ready to learn more? Watch James Edward Johnson speak about supplier risk and social responsibility on main stage at SAP Ariba Live.


About Tanya Bragg

As a product marketing manager on the SAP Ariba Integrated Marketing team, Tanya Bragg creates content designed to help customers gain greater value from the supplier management solutions they use. Her areas of expertise include supply chain, sustainability, sourcing, and procurement.