Much Ado About Supply Chain Risk

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Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is a way for companies to detect, monitor, prepare and mitigate everyday and unexpected risks in order to maintain their supply chains continuity and efficiency.

The thing about supply chains is that there are many different internal and external factors that can cause disruptions. External factors could be things such as unexpected demand for a product, materials needed in manufacturing not being available, unexpected socioeconomic or political turmoil, or a key supplier declaring bankruptcy forcing the buyer to scramble to source the required item.

A recent example of external supply chain disruptions is the hack of the Colonial oil pipeline in the United States, causing gas shortages across the country. This hack is believed to have occurred due to the pipelines reliance on IoT devices to run the system, smart devices being notorious for their security flaws.

On the other hand, internal risks can range from everyday matters such as employees being sick or business process not being followed, to more complex incidents such as a failure to create a proper contingency plan if an external issue were to arise. These internal supply chain contingency plans became vital at the start of the Pandemic last year when, as everyone knows, the world shut down.

Although most, (but not all!) organisations would never have expected or created a contingency plan for a global pandemic. It highlighted the need for organisations to have some form of process in place that would de-risk their supply chain, enabling continuity.

Beyond supply chain continuity, organisations can also be at risk of societal backlash from affiliation with suppliers who are associated with unethical labour practices, adversarial governments, or causing undue environmental damage.

To help de-risk an organisations supply chain, swiftscale has put together this small list of companies. Each company covers a different area of risk in a supply chain that we think is important for organisations to consider when creating a robust supply chain management process. 


2002 founded, £2.0m raised, 10 – 25 employees, UK-based

Client snapshot:

ASOS, BAE Systems, Telenor

What do they do?

BOXARR software enables you to collaboratively operate Digital Twin models of your systems and organisations. Leverage data from your information systems and elicit knowledge from people across your enterprise. 

Visualise, filter, compute, and analyse DigitalTwins as multi-contextual models, data/pivot tables, Gantt, swim-lanes, geo-maps and interactive dashboards. Identify and minimise risk. War-game scenarios of proposed decisions. Rapidly respond to impacts of unforeseen events. BOXARR supports org/ops design; systems-engineering; investment/capability planning; supply-web resilience; and more.

Why we’re interested

BOXARR came onto our RADARR as they aid in organisations ability to map the intricacies of complex supply chains through the use of Digital Twin technology. Digital Twins, for those who do not know, are a virtual representation of a real-world counterpart. Through BOXARR, organisations can create a replica of their supply chain in the simulated environment to see what would happen if certain materials were late or no longer available, allowing them to create contingency plans if this were to happen in the real world. Contingency plans are one of the most important aspects to manage external supply chain risk. Especially know as the global pandemic continues to disrupt our everyday lives.


2015 founded, 12.m kr raised, 10 – 25 employees, Sweden-based

Client snapshot:

Höganäs, Logitech, Samhall

What do they do?

Kodiak Rating’s Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) SaaS & complimentary mobile apps provide a systematic process for assessing suppliers in various business-critical aspects, which render easy-to-read ratings, assuring our client’s the information they need to collaborate with the right suppliers from the start.

By utilizing Kodiak Rating, their client organizations manage supply chain risks, reduce their total cost of ownership, and facilitate collaborative innovation with suppliers. Creating numerical values for quick-analysis, rendered from robust big data, allows our customers to assess, select and evaluate suppliers performance, quality, risk, financial stability and sustainability from an all-in-one platform. They’re turning big data into action, creating opportunities for agile business decisions.

Why we’re interested

Kodiak Rating is more of a full-suite option than the other companies on this list. Although their features for supplier management such as KPI monitoring and supplier self-assessments can be seen through a risk management lens as they help with supply chain continuity. Kodiak Rating’s direct modules for risk management is through adverse media screening and supplier financial health assessments. Kodiak Rating adverse media screening tool is powered by a Meltwater subsidiary called fiarhair.ai, this tool visualises your suppliers allowing anyone to quickly see what risks their current supply chain has. They also provide a social and environmental score for suppliers, such as human rights protection which can help organisations avoid potentially harmful affiliations.


2013 founded, $128.7m raised, 50 – 100 employees, US-based

Client snapshot:

Deutsche Bank, Unilever, US AirForce

What do they do?

Orbital Insight is a Geospatial Big Data company leveraging the rapidly growing availability of satellite, UAV, and other geospatial data sources, to understand and characterize socio-economic trends at global, regional, and hyper-local scales.

Orbital Insight is the geospatial analytics company that helps organizations understand what’s happening on and to the Earth. Orbital Insight uses AI to answer their questions about supply chains, global commodities, geopolitical events, demographics and national security using multiple sources of geospatial data—including satellite images, mobile location, connected cars and other IoT data. Armed with this insight, organizations can anticipate future changes to avoid costly surprises and create new opportunities.

Why we’re interested

Orbital Insight works with and is funded by some of the biggest and most well-known institutions across the globe. Although they have many different use cases that range from; assisting the US Airforce with analysation of satellite data to real-estate due diligence for Avison Young. Within supply chain risk Orbital Insight could help organisations monitor their supplier’s supply chain to see if where they are getting their supplies from. For example, Orbital Insight can monitor if certain activities by tier-one suppliers are causing environmental or societal harm. Through Orbital Insight’s analysation of geospatial data, organisations can add greater transparency and uncover hidden risks within their supply chain.


2018 founded, £1.4m raised, 10 – 25 employees, UK-based,

Client snapshot:

ASOS, BAE Systems, Telenor

What do they do?

Risk Ledger combines a secure social network with a risk management platform to enable clients to run an effortless third-party risk assurance programme with their vendors – for whom the process is lightweight and free. With Risk Ledger, clients reduce 3rd, 4th and 5th party financial, security, and compliance risks through continuous monitoring. The platform also reduces the risk assurance process to less than two weeks, significantly speeding up procurement cycles.

Why we’re interested

A fairly common way for hackers to gain access and cause disruptions to a company is through their suppliers. If a supplier’s security protocols are not up to standard, a hacker would be able to infiltrate their systems. Risk Ledger allows buyers to securely share their security requirements with suppliers who can quickly and easily prove that their security is up to standard. As many suppliers and buyers join Risk Ledger, it creates a network effect where everyone can quickly ascertain that they are up-to-snuff with one another requirements. Lowering due diligence and speeding up procurement. 

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