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How Transparent Supply Chains Improve Brand Integrity

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In today’s consumer landscape, many Millennials are more concerned than ever with supporting brands whose business practices have a positive impact on the environment, employees, and the regions from which they source their materials. People want organic, grass-fed goods when they shop. Accenture’s 2018 global consumer pulse report surveyed over 30,000 consumers to find out why they purchase certain brands over another. The results showed an emphasis on what a brand says, does, and stands for, which is why Oracle Chief Sustainability Officer Jon Chorley explained that transparent supply chains improve brand integrity and ultimately get people to shop from that brand.

A New Consumer Landscape

Accenture’s 2018 global consumer pulse report surveyed over 30,000 consumers to understand why they purchase certain brands (beyond price and quality). The report identifies key factors that explain the increase in the popularity of purpose-led brands. Consumers still care about selection and price, but now place significant emphasis on what a brand says, does, and stands for. Some of the survey results include:

  • 62 percent of consumers want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability, transparency, or fair employment practices
  • 62 percent of consumers are attracted to companies that believe in reducing plastics and improving the environment
  • 62 percent of consumers want companies to be transparent about where they source their materials, how they treat their employees, and deliver on their promises

How Transparent Supply Chains Improve Brand Integrity

Jairo Camacho spoke with Jon Chorley, Oracle’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Group Vice President of Supply Chain Product Strategy, about how companies can leverage transparent supply chains to protect their brand and satisfy customer demand.

Why Business Ethics is an Important Issue for Companies

There are several dimensions that businesses need to consider.

  • The need to maintain your license to operate. This includes following codified ethical requirements like environmental regulations, minimum wage, and restrictions against using materials like conflict minerals.
  • Ethical violations. They may not rise to the level of violating laws, but they are perceived as negative in the eyes of customers and consumers and can still inflict significant damage. The key point is that it is the brand owner who takes the hit – regardless of where in the supply chain these violations occur.
  • The need to maintain your social reputation in the marketplace. This helps organizations attract and retain the right talent. Today’s graduates want to work for ethical, environmentally responsible companies, so you need to align with those values to stay competitive.

New Emerging Technology That Helps Companies Remain Compliant

Internet of Things (IoT) is highly effective at tracking goods and assets in real-time – whether deployed or in transit. Emerging technologies like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can also be used to monitor for any data anomalies and flag or remediate issues. Also, blockchain is emerging as a powerful tool to increase the transparency of goods as they are sourced and move along the supply chain.

Oracle Customers Leveraging Emerging Technology

Circulor, a company that provides Traceability as a Service to verify responsible sourcing, is bringing an unprecedented level of transparency to consumer electronics and electric vehicle manufacturers. By leveraging AI and blockchain, Circulor provides solutions to track provenance and improve efficiency in global supply chains. They developed a platform, powered by Oracle Blockchain Platform, which allows them to track raw materials in supply chains from mine to the finished product and then to recycling, assuring manufacturers that the raw materials sourced are ethical and sustainable.

How Companies Avoid the Use of Conflict Minerals

In the recent past, companies would do their best to source conflict-free materials by putting various policies in place and creating due diligence measures for their suppliers to help ensure that their components remained conflict-free. It was a difficult process to implement. and it was challenging to identify where materials came from as they moved along the supply chain.

Why Finance Leaders Should Care + How Business Ethics Extend Beyond Supply Chain and Operations

Finance leaders care about anything that impacts the bottom line. Customers demand that the companies they do business with behave in a socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible manner. From a cost management perspective, the CFO wants to be proactive about managing risk to ensure that there are no surprises and unplanned costs. A dedicated solution like Oracle Risk Management Cloud can help CFOs deal with today’s unprecedented levels of complexity. It is embedded with AI, it provides high levels of data security across all privileges, and it helps ensure the business is prepared to tackle the latest compliance challenges and process issues. From a brand equity standpoint, it is important to avoid any reputational damage that can arise from mismanaged supply chains because of forced labor, child labor, or other human rights abuses.

To learn more about how transparent supply chains improve brand integrity and customer satisfaction, check out the additional resources attached below.

Additional Resources

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  • Cloud Day: November 12
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How Transparent Supply Chains Improve Brand Integrity