Last Week, IBM Traced 28 Tons of Oranges Using Blockchain. Also Last Week, Sourcemap Traced 1,000 Tons of Cocoa - No Blockchain Required.

The First Step to Traceability: Stenciling Batch Numbers on Bags of Cocoa at a Depot in Ghana

The First Step to Traceability: Stenciling Batch Numbers on Bags of Cocoa at a Depot in Ghana

There’s a lot of hype around using blockchain to trace supply chains. How does it stand up in the real world? The most widely publicized blockchain pilots involve shippers and retailers - the ‘last leg’ of a global supply chain. What happens when you want to trace a product from the source, and that source is halfway around the world?

Global supply chains include people from every walk of life, from smallholder farmers to corporate executives. The challenge with traceability is finding a solution that can handle the complexity of global trade while being easy to adopt each step of the way. Sourcemap uses proven technology, including the graph databases that power social networks and mobile apps that work on the most common devices. And of course, spreadsheets.

You can trust the data. Everything that’s uploaded to Sourcemap is encrypted and changes are tracked, so there is no chance of someone altering a record without being detected. And the app is lightweight, so it’s used to capture lots of additional data: farm areas, workforce statistics, indicators for safety and hygiene. You can rest assured, not only that the source of products is authentic, but also that important risks such as child labor and deforestation are minimized.

Traceability isn’t about blockchain, it’s about digitizing the supply chain. Once paper- and spreadsheet-based records are uploaded to the cloud, the savings are immense: no more document handling, better quality control, fewer delays and disruptions, less risk. To learn more about the agile ways that end-to-end traceability is being implemented in supply chains around the world, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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Sourcemap Included in Spend Matters’ latest SolutionMap Analysis

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Sourcemap’s technology solutions are among those ranked in the Spend Matters’ Q4 2018 SolutionMap Analysis posted this week. This quarter marks the first time Sourcemap has participated in the SolutionMap. We are proud of how Spend Matters’ analysts rated our services, and we look forward to users having an impartial view of how Sourcemap matches-up against other providers.

 Through powerful technology and intuitive software, Sourcemap brings radical transparency to industries that have long-struggled to track the origins of their ingredients, materials and parts. We follow supply chains around the world, down to the exact farm, mine, or factory where it all starts. Our customizable platform then handles the data collection and modeling for any operational, risk, compliance, or sustainability goal.

Spend Matters’ SolutionMap analysis is a comprehensive and highly detailed process. To participate, Sourcemap completed an extensive survey about our company, customer demographics, and solutions. Our customers submitted wide-reaching references to validate our performance.  The Sourcemap team also presented a 90-minute demonstration of our services and what they are able to achieve.

 “We set out to develop a more useful approach to ranking solution providers to reflect customer experiences, market developments and innovation. SolutionMap is the culmination of our efforts,” said Jason Busch, Founder of Spend Matters and Lead Solution Analyst.

 Through SolutionMap, procurement professionals are empowered with information to identify the best potential providers for their needs. Customizable “buying personas” allow users to search vendors based on criteria that match their procurement challenges.

 As a globally-recognized innovator in supply chain mapping, Sourcemap expects to stand-out among other providers. Our end-to-end supply chain traceability enables brands to manage risk and leverage opportunity, even in the sub-tiers of their supply chains. Sourcemap’s software can be quickly deployed without concerns about interoperability. And our service-oriented approach helps customers measure gains in sustainability and impact in raw materials that are impossible to manage in conventional systems.

 Our team is confident that through Spend Matters’ expert analysis, Sourcemap will find its way on many customers’ shortlists, and ultimately be selected as their provider of choice. 

Introducing the Responsible Cocoa Platform: One Tool To Manage Deforestation and Child Labor Across Smallholder Supply Chains

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It's only getting harder to comply with emerging compliance standards in the cocoa supply chain. The RCP builds on ten years of Sourcemap R&D to offer true Monitoring and Evaluation for deforestation and child labor across smallholder supply chains. It's the first end-to-end solution for data collection, analysis and reporting against the CFI's deforestation standard and the cocoa industry's CLMRS (Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems). The RCP takes advantage of Sourcemap's new offline mobile apps, cloud-based traceability database, real-time monitoring against high-resolution satellite imagery, and built-in reporting for traders and brands alike. All with the security and support you can expect from the pioneer in supply chain mapping technology. Learn more about how it works by downloading the Responsible Cocoa Platform pamphlet or signing up for a demo with one of our experts:

 
 

World’s first free digital map of apparel factories now online

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NEW YORK CITY – Sourcemap gave the apparel industry, manufacturers, and consumers worldwide unprecedented access to the factories making their clothes with today’s launch of the Open Apparel Registry (OAR) — an open, crowdsourced database of apparel facilities around the world.

The online tool creates a common and standardized resource of facility names and addresses that is completely free and easy to search. As the first advanced name-and-address matching system for the apparel industry, the OAR will create historic transparency and accountability in an industry plagued by systemic sustainability challenges and inhumane employment practices.

“The Open Apparel Registry has been a years-long effort to help consumers, companies and NGO's make certain that the factories they think their clothes are coming from are actually the right ones,” said Dr. Leo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap. “Apparel facilities can now be searched much like finding an address on Google Maps, which we expect will create an industry where one-day, every article of clothing is traced to its source.”

Currently, most apparel factories are logged across multiple, inconsistent databases. Many more facilities are completely unaccounted for. Even the most conscientious brands have struggled to maintain visibility over the manufacturers beyond the first tier of their supply chains. The lack of accountability has led to the apparel industry’s failed attempts to rid supply chains of forced labor, child labor, poor working conditions, and environmentally harmful practices. 

The OAR is funded by the C&A Foundation. It marks Sourcemap’s largest open-source project to date. Nonprofit partnerships and corporate alliances have attempted to conduct similar large-scale mapping projects without success.

Sourcemap is recognized as the leader in mapping and transparency platforms for industry groups. C&A Foundation is also sponsoring Sourcemap’s partnership with BRAC University (BRACU) on a breakthrough project to survey and map every garment factory in Bangladesh. Sourcemap currently powers the latest generation of the Higg Index platform, the leading suite of tools for measuring social and environmental sustainability across the apparel, footwear and textile industries. The Green Electronic Council’s newly reimagined EPEAT Registry for sustainable IT products also runs on Sourcemap’s platform.

The OAR is now live at openapparel.org

Read the news release on Ecotextile News >

Sourcemap Receives Green Carpet Fashion Award at Milan Fashion Week

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Sourcemap was awarded the Supply Chain Innovation prize at this year's Green Carpet Fashion Award, a “a star-studded celebration of the sustainability, innovation and the contribution of the Italian fashion industry.”

Read more about it on the Eco-Age website and see it in Vogue

EPEAT Registry Launches!

We're proud to announce the launch of a brand-new registry for the Green Electronics Council's EPEAT Eco-Label! The server category launched August 30th; but servers are only the beginning: get ready to see mobile phones, monitors, TV's and more. The registry is only the tip of the iceberg: powering EPEAT is a purpose-built platform to capture, verify, and publish detailed information on every product everything in here - all powered by Sourcemap. Check it out on epeat.sourcemap.com

Blockchain and Fast Fashion [Novethic]

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French blog Novethic quotes Sourcemap CEO in the article “POURQUOI LA BLOCKCHAIN NE RÉVOLUTIONNERA PAS LA FAST FASHION” (Why Blockchain Won't Revolutionize Fast Fashion)

Green Electronics Council Partners with Sourcemap on Next-Gen IT Ecolabel

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The Green Electronics Council (GEC) has selected Sourcemap to modernize its flagship program, the EPEAT Registry.

The EPEAT Registry is a website used by large-scale purchasers globally to identify credible, cost-effective and innovative IT products. Sourcemap will redesign the site from the ground-up, improving purchasers’ ability to identify sustainable IT products by specific environmental and social criteria. The major IT brands whose products are featured on the EPEAT Registry will experience a more intuitive interface, making it easier for them to register and market their products that meet EPEAT criteria.

National governments, including the United States, and thousands of private and public institutional purchasers use EPEAT’s independent verification of manufacturers’ claims to inform their sustainable procurement decisions. Through its partnership with Sourcemap, GEC hopes to one-day allow EPEAT to verify entire supply chains, including suppliers and sub-components.

Redesigning the EPEAT Registry continues Sourcemap’s work in tracking and verifying sustainability in industry supply chains. Sourcemap built the current Higg Index platform for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which is used by more than 200 fashion brands to benchmark social and environmental performance across more than 6,000 supplier factories worldwide.

GEC expects to launch the revised EPEAT Registry in January 2019.

Read the full press release on Supply Chain Dive

Cocoa in the cloud: Traceability goes paperless in digital evolution [Confectionery News]

Cocoa traceability is entering the digital era with companies aiming to collect far more than the weight of a bag via a paper receipt.

HTTPS://WWW.CONFECTIONERYNEWS.COM/ARTICLE/2018/05/15/COCOA-IN-THE-CLOUD-TRACEABILITY-GOES-PAPERLESS-IN-DIGITAL-EVOLUTION

Is Your Supply Chain Blockchain-Ready?

It’s been called “transformative,” “revolutionary,” and “likely to change the world,” but is Blockchain the right technology for your supply chain? 

The ultimate goals of supply chain management are Traceability (the ability to track a product from raw material to consumer) and Transparency (continuous visibility from end-to-end, including real-time data on performance, quality, risk, and other key performance indicators). Conscious consumers, emerging regulations, and operational best practices are all pushing for this change. 

Blockchain can help brands achieve both Traceability and Transparency – but some important steps need to be taken before the technology can be adopted supply chain-wide.  To begin with, you can't make your suppliers adopt a groundbreaking technology unless you know who they are - both direct (Tier-1) and indirect (Tier-2, 3, down to raw materials). Then you need to align with your suppliers on transparency and traceability - that is, assuming they're ready to jump on board. That's why we've put together this simple questionnaire to determine if your supply chain is blockchain-ready.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you mapped your supply chain, including names, contact information and locations of all suppliers from raw materials to finished goods?
  2. Have you identified risks and opportunities across the end-to-end supply chain where traceability and transparency could bring important ROI?
  3. Have you assessed your suppliers' supply chain technology maturity, for example, whether their ERP/PLM is cloud-enabled?
  4. Have you defined and communicated your supply chain transparency expectations with every stakeholder in your supply chain?

If you answered "yes" to all of these, then your supply chain is blockchain-ready, and will likely benefit from the enhanced security, authenticity, and the distributed costs of distributed ledger technology. But if you’re one of many who didn’t get beyond question 1 or 2, then you need to enhance your supply chain visibility and communications before you and your suppliers can take advantage of blockchain.

Blockchain might very well be “the next internet.” But like the internet in its early days, the killer applications of blockchain have not been well-defined. Before you implement blockchain, consider whether your supply chain is blockchain-ready – and if you’re not sure, ask an expert if it’s the right solution for you.

Any questions? Get in touch.

Sourcemap CEO, “Manufacturers have no excuses for lack of transparency in cobalt mining.”

Cobalt prices have quadrupled since hitting an all-time low just two years ago. The material’s use in the rechargeable batteries of electric cars and smartphones triggered a spike in the market and demand isn’t expected to slow.

Unfortunately, most corporations lack visibility of their cobalt supply chain beyond the smelters that purchase the ore from mines, or intermediaries. According to Amnesty International, the lack of accountability has led to insidious mining conditions, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which produces 60 percent of the world’s cobalt. Nearly 150,000 people work in “artisanal” mines plagued with collapsing shafts and harsh work environments. An estimated 40,000 child laborers are cheated out of pay, vulnerable to harm, and often handle the toxic material without gloves or masks.

In this piece published in Eco-Business, Sourcemap CEO Dr. Leo Bonanni argues that there is no excuse for companies not maintaining 100% traceability in their cobalt supply chains. The type of end-to-end traceability software that Sourcemap has used to map some of the world’s most complex supply chains can help rid high-risk and inhumane activities from cobalt sourcing.

Article: http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/no-excuses-for-lack-of-transparency-in-cobalt-mining/

 

HOW BLOCKCHAIN COULD CHANGE THE ETHICAL FASHION GAME

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"Fashion supply chains are way too complicated to be traced using any person-to-person traditional communication," says SourceMap founder Leonardo Bonanni over the phone. "You need some really advanced technology to actually track fashion, especially in a world of fast fashion and global brands."

https://fashionista.com/2018/04/what-is-blockchain-explained-ethical-fashion-supply-chain

This Tech Startup Could Revolutionize The Fashion Industry With Its Latest Project [Forbes]

Sourcemap, a New York City tech start-up is building a platform, that could transform the fashion industry: a digital map of all clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh.

Read the full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2018/03/30/this-tech-startup-could-revolutionize-the-fashion-industry-with-its-latest-project/#356582bf72f2

Sourcemap and Bluenumber now offer 100% Palm Oil Traceability

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Sourcemap and Bluenumber are teaming up to deliver the first solution to trace both where palm oil comes from and who produced it. The leaders in supply chain mapping and unique smallholder identification have co-developed a service to present verified and visualized data cheaper, faster and with greater assurance than traditional certification or sample-based fieldwork. 

Sourcemap, the global leader in supply chain mapping and transparency, and Bluenumber, developer and host for an independent registry of unique digital farmer and worker identities have jointly developed two groundbreaking offerings for palm oil transparency and traceability. The new services plug current data gaps in industry standard sustainable palm oil sourcing practices by creating end-to-end visibility. Users can now prove with precision that their palm oil supply chain is deforestation-free and socially responsible.

The basic 'Supply Map’ offering is designed to help buyers show their consumers and stakeholders from where and whom they source palm oil. The more advanced service, ‘Trace & Track,’ gives buyers highly detailed information on the origin, route and handling of every specific Palm Oil shipment received, including every smallholder and every mill involved in each specific delivery.

The new solution uses a proprietary technology suite including GPS enabled data collection apps for fieldwork. Bluenumber issues unique identifiers to verify every smallholder, estate worker and facility at every stage in the supply chain. The Sourcemap platform organizes and visualizes all data necessary to understand and present verified smallholders, mills and other actors. The integrated systems establish the relationships and transactions between people and places. The resulting visualization and data analysis reveals time-calibrated activity of smallholders and estates. Risk data associated with each actor or entity allow buyers at multiple levels in the supply chain to make more informed procurement decisions on where and whom to source from.

The solution works with palm oil supply chains that are certified under traditional programs, and with sources that are not certified.  To learn more, please get in touch.    

Sourcemap travels to Dhaka to launch massive digital mapping of Bangladeshi garment factories

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The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country: a Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh. Local data collectors equipped with mobile apps have begun to amass thousands of GPS-linked data points collected on the ground from factory owners, workers and organizations. As this data is fed into Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping and transparency platform, we will be able to provide global apparel brands and consumers with radical transparency in one of world’s largest garment producing regions.

The timing of the project is critical. April 24 will mark five years since the factory collapse at Rana Plaza outside Dhaka that took the lives of 1,135 people. North American and European apparel brands have already announced their intention to walk away from the safety tracking programs formed in response to the tragedy once they expire in May.  

Sourcemap is partnering with C&A Foundation and BRAC University (BRAC U) in Bangladesh to administer the survey. Together, we will create a new digital factory map that will democratize data collection and transparency by permanently transitioning accountability for factory improvements to Bangladeshis.  

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“A big part of our commitment to have Bangladeshis own and control this data comes down to designing the right interface,” said Rhea Rakshit, Director of Design for Sourcemap. “The goal is to make it as simple as possible to collect data from factories on the ground, and then allow apparel brands and other stakeholders to gain access to it through an easy to use mapping platform.”

While on the ground in Dhaka, our team witnessed just how critical the garment industry was to Bangladesh. The industry employs approximately four million people. Alarmingly though, most workers report to factories that are invisible on the supply chain – even to the multinational brands ultimately purchasing their products.

The BRAC U survey will put each of these factories on the map. In addition to factory and worker statistics, types of products manufactured, the names of clothing brands that each factory manufactures for will also be captured. All data will be uploaded on Sourcemap cloud servers and visible to the public. Ultimately, this transparency will increase the accountability of brands, decrease risk to workers, and add value to Bangladeshi products.

Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, CEO of Sourcemap, remarked on the project, “The crowdsourced garment factory map promises to make the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label an asset to apparel brands and a point of consumer pride worldwide.”

What it's really going to take for sustainability to work [Sourcing Journal]

by Tara Donaldson

Posted on January 23, 2018 in Feature.

The thing about sustainability in the apparel industry is that brands and retailers are either embracing it of their own accord, finding themselves backed into a corner with little other option, or faking it until they make it.

The latter, of course, is where the problem of compliance arises.

“I’m kind of pessimistic when it comes to sustainability, compliance, traceability,” Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman said speaking on a Texworld USA supply chain panel Monday.

Having spent years in sourcing prior to publishing, Hertzman said he’s had brands ask him to manufacture organic product for them, and he’s gone to factories to source it, only to find that the suppliers are selling the brands goods labeled as organic when they’re in fact no such thing.

“It’s very complex to trace this. There isn’t necessarily one set of standards that everyone follows,” Hertzman said. “I think we are a long way from this being part of every single company’s culture.”

The problem, according to Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain-mapping software company, is that the apparel industry has faced structural issues that haven’t exactly served to fuel transparency and traceability.

Until recently, Bonanni said, “You actually couldn’t map a supply chain for an apparel product,” largely because brands themselves couldn’t see past their Tier 1 suppliers—a problem which still remains for some companies.

Read the rest of the article at Sourcing Journal.