SaaS solutions have long been helping consumers to better track the exact location of their package and send shipping notifications. But the desire for transparency extends beyond tracking a product from the warehouse to its final destination into new territory. A demand for supply chain transparency has resulted in a wave of new innovations from startups looking to delve into a space that is proving to be both lucrative and beneficial for all involved. Here are some of the notables:
Product Manufacturing Visibility: LaborVoices
Our global interconnectivity has made it far more difficult for manufacturing to exist in a black box and far easier for consumers to learn about the production process. In some cases, manufacturing workers are even communicating with consumers through hidden letters — like the recent note found in a Walmart purse — to “whistleblower” applications like LaborVoices. The brainchild of Kohl Gill, LaborVoices uses technology to instantly poll workers through their cellphone on issues related to safety and working conditions. To hedge against what increased transparency in the supply chain might reveal, many businesses are turning to new or underutilized technologies.
Labor Exploitation Transparency: Verité
For corporations with complex supply chains that often contain second and third tier producers, it can be difficult to identify good and bad actors or flag when unauthorized subcontracting takes places. Organizations like Verité, a non-profit that works with brands like Patagonia, has developed mapping technology that shows geographically and in what sectors labor exploitation may be taking place. Brands can virtually see the potential risk in their supply chain through tools made available through the organization.
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