Companies wasting billions every year by not sharing supplier information

23 February 2015

Global companies are wasting more than $30 billion (£20 billion) a year because they do not share information about suppliers, according to business information provider Achilles.

It says only a third of global firms across the UK, USA, Spain, Brazil and Nordic countries work collaboratively with other similar businesses to manage information about suppliers.

This is despite 88 per cent of them saying domestic and international ‘arms’ of their company require the same details from suppliers in terms of health and safety, environment, quality, sustainability and ethics, according to a survey of supply chain professionals from 300 large businesses across the oil and gas, manufacturing, construction and utilities sectors.

In the UK, 31 per cent of businesses said they worked with other firms in the same industry to share the administrative burden of carrying out due diligence such as pre-qualification, verification and audits. This was a little less than in the US where the figure was 32 per cent, and Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark and Norway where it was 37 per cent.

In Spain 18 per cent of firms said they shared the administrative burden with their counterparts in industry.

Achilles chief executive Adrian Chamberlain said that half of the $60 billion (£40 billion) businesses were spending annually on managing information about their suppliers was wasted.

“It is much more efficient when whole industries agree common standards required of all suppliers in terms of health and safety, ethics and compliance, then share the administrative burden of collecting, checking and auditing information,” said Chamberlain. “They can make details available to the whole industry on a central online portal.”

He added there was no need for firms to be nervous about sharing supplier information, as it was not commercially sensitive.

“There is no ‘competitive advantage’ in collecting mandatory compliance and regulatory information,” he said. “Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and recent scandals show one issue affects all in global business so it’s in everyone’s interests to safeguard the supplier base.”

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