Richard is responsible for the SureCloud vision, strategy, and execution. Previously he held executive positions in British, European and North American tech companies, where he led sales, marketing, and market development functions.
The Harvard Business Review recently made a stark statement with regards to global supply chains: The vast majority of global companies have no idea of what their risk exposure is; that’s because few, if any, have complete knowledge of all the companies that provide services or parts to their direct suppliers.’
The unfolding coronavirus pandemic has thrown into sharp relief just how complex and interdependent today’s international supply chains are – and how little visibility companies can have over those interdependencies. Organisations are being forced to adapt and plan for dramatic impacts up and down their supply chains, with some deploying all-new tools and solutions in order to facilitate last-minute remote working – often with very little understanding of how those new solutions might affect their own security and risk levels.
These issues go far beyond third parties alone. The chain of security and risk responsibility goes much further; a substantial proportion of supply chain disruption is due to problems with fourth parties.
Here at SureCloud, we wanted to utilise our expertise in third-party risk management to help organisations understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations. So, we’re delighted to announce the launch of our complimentary Supply Chain Risk Solution. We’ve leveraged our greatest strengths – our flexible platform and our risk advisory expertise – to develop a lightweight assessment question set focused on the most important aspects of managing business operations through adversity. This assessment can be pushed out to any organisation in your global supply chain –whether they are third parties, qualified fourth parties or beyond – to rapidly gain a clear picture of their response to security and risk in the current climate. To provide additional business context, users of the application will be able to add their own questions to the assessment.
Building on the capabilities of our Gartner recognised Vendor Risk Management software; this tool takes things a step further.
The solution allows businesses to document their key assets and processes, assess their critical supplier’s management of security and risk and report findings through flexible dashboards, helping them to visualise impact to their supply chains efficiently.
We want to make it as easy as possible for organisations to get up and running, so we have created some helpful guides and videos for users to follow. Our aim is for users to gain value from the solution as quickly as possible, so the solution has an intuitive user interface with prebuilt content which allows for rapid deployment.
Supply chain audits need to take in a broad spectrum of information. It’s not just about the obvious – what cybersecurity tools do they have in place, who is responsible for which process, what the contingency plans are – but also ‘softer’ information like where their offices are based and who their customers are. Supply chain audit solutions need to be able to collect all this data as efficiently as possible, which means that cloud-based solutions are often most appropriate. Third and fourth parties and beyond can respond to digital questionnaires with the information collated and aggregated automatically. The result is a snapshot view of the health – or risk – of the supply chain at any time.
The tool offers supply chain questionnaires, reports, and dashboards designed with insight from the industry experts within SureCloud’s Risk Advisory Practice and focuses on third party risks that can affect an organisation’s operational resilience, particularly given the impact on business operations at present. These components give businesses a time advantage as questionnaires can be sent directly to crucial suppliers in a matter of days, enabling a quicker understanding of affected products and/or services. This, in turn, helps measure the potential impacts posed by supplier risks and determine wider impacts on the supply chain.
There are broader impacts too. By using the SureCloud Platform to assess supply chain risks, clients provide valuable global insight into the current state of the supply chain, which supports other organisations with their resilience strategy.
SureCloud will utilise the results (in an anonymised, aggregated format) to measure and report on global trends relating to the impact and readiness of supply chains. We will use this analysis to develop new guidance and create a dialogue to further improve supply chain management. This means that every organisation using our Supply Chain Risk Solution will be contributing to – and benefiting from – an international, dynamic knowledge base.
Effective supply chain management is particularly important in this time of global crisis. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have transformed the way suppliers are managed and relied upon and created uncertainty for third party risk programmes. Our new tool is our gift to organisations allowing them to feel confident assessing supply chain risks during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.