The value in knowing where you source your products has never been greater, as recent legislation in the US and EU has heightened the social responsibility obligations placed upon suppliers importing into those markets. Regrettably, many businesses have limited knowledge of their suppliers outside of immediate partners, with over 80% of suppliers globally unable to trace their products back to their raw materials.
This has opened the door for the data science experts such as Bendi to play a pivotal role in updating businesses’ knowledge of their supply chain, raising awareness of stability risks in their sources and any ethical concerns in their value chain.
Founding for the future
Bendi was founded in late 2020 by Mandeep Soor, Benjamin Norsworthy, and Olivier Bacs, bringing together their expertise in data science, social issues and software development to build a platform for monitoring sustainability and ethical issues within supply chains.
Serving the international community from their base in London, Bendi has already received several accolades and is deeply involved with research projects which advance supply chain visibility across industries. The company has even partnered with the University of Leeds to publish a series of white papers outlining issues within supply chain visibility, the first of which is already available.
The Bendi platform
At the heart of Bendi’s services is their automated data monitoring system which scans a multitude of channels from official reports to social media, highlighting problematic links in a client’s supply chain.
When a company joins the platform they are invited to share the information they possess about their suppliers, which is then connected to a vast knowledge graph which generates links in the value chain all the way back to the raw materials. The stream of information shows what percentage of trade any individual link does with its suppliers, allowing Bendi to produce a breakdown of exactly where each stage of production gets its supply.
Historically, data analysts would have to gather this information manually which is slow, prone to error, and laborious due to the constant supplier enquiries made to each individual link. With Bendi’s system, however, one survey is all that’s required to map the entire value chain.
Once Bendi has mapped a company’s supply chain the platform will scan its data feeds continually for emergent information, providing alerts to clients when it identifies a risk relevant to the client’s reputation or stability. While Bendi’s platform can’t replace annual audits, they complement auditing by generating real-time updates with a wider scope than the snapshot picture that audits provide.
Multi-layered support and risk assessment
Bendi doesn’t just hold up red flags, they can also play a key role in developing clients’ social responsibility and improving adherence to new legislation. When a company utilises Bendi’s platform they demonstrate they are doing their due diligence for their supply chain, which can assist users with fulfilling tender criteria. Bendi’s data tools are unrivalled in their comprehensive approach to industry social responsibility, so any supplier using the platform is doing the best it can to identify issues.
Bendi also helps companies verify their compliance with new EU and US regulations, such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act (UFLPA). When a client signs up for the service, Bendi will issue a survey which identifies the information they need to collect in order to assess client compliance with existing and upcoming legislation in the markets they trade in, also alerting clients as to when regulations come into effect.
For example, clients trading in the US will now need to prove their products were produced with no forced labour at any stage of production, due to the new UFLPA legislation. While most suppliers and distributors would struggle to make definitive statements about the labour conditions of their suppliers, Bendi offers clients percentage risk assessments at every stage of the value chain.
Building social responsibility into the supply chain
Implementing social responsibility and sustainability practices have become key targets for businesses reviewing their moral principles, and Bendi’s reports allow companies to support their suppliers through the value chain. When a client is alerted to an issue Bendi first recommends discussing the issue with relevant suppliers to improve the situation rather than abandoning that community outright.
The reliable partner for empowering ethical supply
Bendi’s core goal is to be a reliable partner in managing complex information streams, and to facilitate their vision they will be launching an updated version of their app in the summer of 2023. The app will improve Bendi’s already best-in-class monitoring systems to provide around-the-clock reporting on client supply chains.
Organisations of all sizes need to start thinking about their supply chain responsibility, as every year more restrictive legislation comes into place. With the CSRD and UFLPA already in place, businesses need actionable plans for meeting the requirements of new due diligence legislation and Bendi offers everyone from SME clients to transnational companies a swift and robust solution to supply chain verification.