Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Q&A: SupplyShift launches COVID-19 Impact Assessment Tool

By Sarah Vickers-Webb
Production & Editorial Assistant
Santa Cruz Tech Beat

March 17, 2020 — Santa Cruz. CA

(Image source: SupplyShift)

SupplyShift offers supply chain risk tool free for 90 days after release

Concerned about choosing safe products? Good news— SupplyShift just released Supply Chain Visibility and COVID-19 Impact Assessment, a product to help Fortune 1000 companies understand their supply-chain risk to the COVID-19 virus, and is providing it to enterprises for free for 90 days post release. The tool allows users to determine the risks to their specific supply chains for individual products and determine appropriate actions to counter those risks.

Santa Cruz Tech Beat had the opportunity to catch up briefly with SupplyShift CEO Alex Gershenson about the company’s newly launched COVID-19 Impact Assessment.

Santa Cruz Tech Beat: Why is transparency around the supply chain so important right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Alex Gershenson: The pandemic will inevitably cause product and material shortages. From a 28 Feb 2020 Harvard Business Review article, “mounting pressure to reduce supply chain costs motivated companies to pursue strategies such as lean manufacturing, offshoring, and outsourcing. Such cost-cutting measures mean that when there is a supply-chain disruption, manufacturing will stop quickly because of a lack of parts. The vast majority of global companies have no idea of what their risk exposure to what is going on in Asia actually is; that’s because few, if any, have complete knowledge of the locations of all the companies that provide parts to their direct suppliers.”

This “no idea of what their risk of exposure” problem is exactly what SupplyShift solves. It allows Brands and Retailers to understand risks associated with supply chains. According to a 2019 Deloitte Chief Procurement Officer study, only 6% of Fortune 1000 companies even know the names of their supplier’s suppliers. SupplyShift provides a platform for Brands/Retailers to capture (all of) the data from all of the suppliers (to the forests and materials used to create products). When the data is collected, risks are assessed (also on the SupplyShift platform) and action plans for mitigating risks (shortages) can be implemented. We can also, most importantly, do it at scale, to enable all supplier risks to be surfaced, and enable procurement departments to understand not only current exposure, but also where the next challenge will come from.

SCTB: How will businesses benefit from utilizing the COVID-19 Impact Assessment?

AG: They’ll understand and have the opportunity to mitigate risks for bringing their products to market. They will be able to assess which of their suppliers are currently disrupted, which anticipate imminent disruptions, and which anticipate coming back online shortly. This will enable better planning in the near and long term.

SCTB: Was this Impact Assessment already in the works for Supply Shift for release around this time or did you accelerate it because of COVID-19?

AG: SupplyShift is a flexible platform that allows us to help our customers engage with their suppliers across many topics/areas of concern. The flexibility of the platform allowed us to roll this pandemic impact assessment in a matter of days.

About SupplyShift
SupplyShift provides a comprehensive platform to seamlessly gather and analyze supplier networks, connecting companies to de-risk and improve supply chains. They have delivered the first cloud-based control center specifically built to ensure that sustainability insights can be thoughtfully considered in sourcing decisions. The platform is built with the belief that, when properly managed, a company’s supplier network can deliver incredible value for the company, the greater economy, and can play an important role in changing our world for the better. The SupplyShift platform makes it seamless to gain the insight needed to create a more responsive, responsible supplier network that makes the entire supply chain more productive. Learn more at


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