A transparent supply chain is not that easy to achieve, especially for the apparel industry where manufacturing spans many nations, and where documentation is often nebulous, if you can even get it.
Getting the data to make educated decisions when vetting new suppliers, as well as monitoring existing suppliers, has far too many gray areas for today’s high stakes retail industry.
One company is trying to help buyers go from mystery to mastery of their international supply chains.
Tiidan is leveraging its expertise at data to ferret out hard-to-get data that often tells a story about vendors that standard financial reports don’t reveal.
Finding Critical Hidden Data
“Typically, vetting is done by analyzing a vendor’s financial reports to assess risk. This might be all that’s necessary when vendors are located in developed nations. However in emerging nations financial statements are not reliable. They don’t follow international accounting rules and they are often 18 months old. Often suppliers are providing expired certifications and documents,” said Yaron Shapira, Founder and CEO.
Israel-based Tiidan analyzes data from government reports, shipping records, court cases, social media, Customs (does Customs require a “capital C”?) documents, insurance companies, and other sources.
“We look at changes in import/export volumes, in countries with which they are trading, we look into court cases and analyze the impact that might have on risk, and we look too at their customers to see if they are getting repeat orders,” Mr. Shapira told Inside Fashion.
By analyzing a wide range of data points and comparing them to the data from all of the other companies, Tiidan can identify risks that might otherwise go undetected.
Tiidan enables companies to monitor their existing suppliers as well as to vet new suppliers.
Avoiding Problems Instead of Solving Them
“Our Sourcing Service let’s buyers search our database to discover and validate new sources. We use artificial intelligence (AI) to review the market for you and will suggest the best suppliers for you to explore. It takes into account the suppliers your competitors are using and similar suppliers to your current ones but which are better and more reliable.
“In Sourcing Mode you will get all information about the supplier including his shipment volume (in USD), legal status, shareholders and other data. The only data missing will be Tiidan’s score and the breakdown into product level shipments.
Unlike typical ratings agencies that need weeks to get you a credit report, we can process a search within 1-2 hours,” said Mr. Shapira.
The company’s Vetting Mode helps buyers secure payments to vendors.
Tiidan’s system actively scans all data sources in China and India. Based on that data we build a risk profile for every supplier.
For existing suppliers, the company can perform compliance monitoring. Monitoring will enable buyers to see the full report Tiidan generates about this supplier including Tiidan’s score and product level breakdown.
In addition once you start monitoring a supplier Tiidan will update you on any change in this supplier’s profile. This includes increase or decrease in his trading volume, new legal threats, corporate changes and more.
“You can simply upload your list of suppliers and they will be validated in real-time,” said Mr. Shapira. At a time when speed is critical, compliance also needs to be faster.
As buyers look to mitigate risk in what is often a murky supply chain, being able to see ‘hidden’ data might just be a game changer – or possibly a lifesaver.