Supply Chain Matters readers are well sensitized to the increasing occurrences of supply chain disruption and risk.  No company seems to be immune from some form of supplier and/or product-related risk event as noted in the numerous commentaries we have penned regarding the financial impacts to the business, or the brand itself. Procurement and supply chain teams are usually the first responders to such events, often times having to scramble to initiate mitigation plans in a time sensitive manner.

Another real problem is that today’s lean supply chain organizations often find supply chain professionals out of the office, traveling to near and distant locations either attending numerous meetings or to insure supply plans are robust.  The mobile worker has a special significance within procurement and supply chain management.

To respond to this need, and in the spirit of “we have an app for that“, Dun and Bradstreet’s (D&B) Supply Management Solutions team announced today a rather novel, mobile-related application, Supplier Risk Manager Mobile which will be available to its existing customers. D&B notes that this ‘app’ will be accessible from any smartphone device with web browser access, including Blackberry’s, Droids and iPhones.  The application supports access to alerts generated from D&B’s global database of supplier information, allowing the user to immediately view key information related to a pre-defined risk situation.  Alerted conditions could include occurrences of natural disaster, financial instability or a major quality-related event. The mobile professional can, in-turn, determine if the situation is significant and warrants additional action.

While mobile devices do present landscape limitations on the amount of information that can be presented, having alert capability, regardless of time and location is an important benefit.  I could not help but think of another important benefit to this new ‘app’.  How many times have we all tended to fall behind in email when on the road, lacking the time to be able to scroll through the importance of all those accumulated and backlogged messages.  Having a supplier risk alert app on a smartpone certainly removes that excuse.

Bob Ferrari