Bamboo Rose Blog | Uncategorized

Navigating supply chain sustainability in a post-pandemic world

How supplier data collection is driving social responsibility goals

Your business is as strong as your suppliers.

Yet, your team faces the incredible challenge of having to manage a high volume of suppliers in multiple categories, all within volatile market forces including pandemic recovery, climate change, and deglobalization.

These market forces are contributing to a greater demand for transparency and accountability. Concurrently, your team may be struggling with outdated supplier data-tracking methods, such as email and spreadsheets, which can result in higher costs, increased brand risk, and ultimately lower revenue when your business fails to meet the increasingly high standards set by customers and investors alike.

Is a new era of working with suppliers, collecting data, and successfully meeting sustainability and growth goals, possible?


Within this article, we explore:

Securing trust from investors and consumers in a post-pandemic world

Why the need for accurate supplier data is increasing

Reach sustainability and social responsibility goals through supplier collaboration

Securing trust from investors and consumers in a post-pandemic world

Investors and consumers are increasingly supporting businesses that implement responsible sourcing and sustainability practices. For example, in 2020, the percentage of investors required to invest in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) products has nearly doubled; that figure is expected to nearly double again in the next two years.

The pandemic has also impacted consumer behavior as people are increasingly aware of business’ supply chain responsibilities.

  • According to a study, consumers are willing to spend 6% more on a product.
  • Consumers are 64% more likely to recommend companies with sustainability programs in place.

In trying to meet these demands, businesses are facing barriers to transparency and accountability due to the scale of the supply base they are working with; when businesses work with over 100 suppliers, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage supplier relationships. The detailed data businesses need might not always be available or accurate, and there may be difficulties in aligning near-term ROI requirements with transparency investments.

Effective, streamlined supplier data collection – as the first step of a holistic supplier engagement strategy – can help your business overcome these challenges, accelerate valuable insights, build trust with suppliers, and ultimately thrive in a world with higher transparency standards.

Why the need for accurate supplier data is increasing

Accurate supplier data reporting is becoming increasingly critical for businesses to meet their sustainability and transparency goals. Yet, a 2020 supplier information survey with procurement and supply chain executives found that:

  • 81% are not completely confident in their supplier data.
  • Nearly half (47%) experience such negative effects on a regular basis.
  • 93% experienced adverse effects of misinformation about their suppliers.
  • 67% of executives have cited financial losses from poor supplier data.

From the supplier’s point-of-view, they are having to coordinate numerous data requests from many of their customers, all with multiple tools and surveys, and often without the convenience of logging into a standard customer data platform.

However, opportunities are emerging for businesses to better collaborate with their suppliers. Businesses that are strengthening supplier relationships, such as the grocers Woolworths, Sobeys, and Walmart, have accelerated growth through the pandemic. In a post-pandemic world, businesses that are proactive in building supply chain efficiencies and stronger relationships with their suppliers are poised to secure their brand impact, growth, and loyalty.

Reach sustainability and social responsibility goals through supplier collaboration

As sustainability becomes an increasingly powerful market force, business leaders are incorporating suppliers into their own efforts to embrace change and integrate sustainable principles throughout their culture. Suppliers are key to social responsibility initiatives because they have the sourcing, materials, and emissions data that businesses must incorporate into their own reporting. As a result, business leaders are increasingly understanding how supplier collaboration is key to reaching their goals.

  • CEOs are recognizing greater accountability to not only shareholders, but stakeholders like suppliers.
  • The VP of Sustainability is galvanized by how corporate boards are recognizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) as the way to do business.
  • The VP of Procurement is not seeing sustainability as secondary to cost, but that sustainability data is commercial data.
  • The VP of Own Brands is not seeing suppliers as external parties to be negotiated with, but suppliers as a critical part of their team.