The topic of supply chain transparency has really been pushed into the spotlight over the past year. We have all heard the stories that grabbed the media’s attention in recent months including the factory collapse in Bangladesh and the European horse meat scandal. Businesses are starting to recognize the risk associated with not knowing their suppliers and have thus started to take the necessary steps to bring more transparency into their supply chain operations. It is, however, not only businesses that are taking note of the lack of transparency; consumers are also becoming more interested in knowing where the products they buy come from.
As this blog is dedicated to keeping up on the hottest supply chain trends, we decided to create a new blog series, “Transparent Tuesday,” that will follow the newest developments in supply chain transparency. We will provide industry examples of companies and stay on top of the latest developments, both positive and negative.
Aside from the media coverage on the topic of supply chain transparency, the idea was spawned while I was watching an NFL Football game. I do not typically watch the commercials, but one advertisement really caught my attention:
This particular advertisement emphasizes the growing consumer trend to want to know where and how the products they buy are made. Budweiser asks the provocative question: “Do you know where your beer is brewed?” Budweiser is essentially laying its supply chain cards out on the table for everyone to see. This is not something that is required of the company. It is however something that Budweiser recognized as important; a topic so important to justify a costly advertisement during an NFL Playoff game. Budweiser provides an example of how this tracking service works here.
I was really on the fence about starting this blog series. I have had numerous conversations on LinkedIN with several supply chain experts. Opinions are definitely split on, for example, whether or not supply chain transparency is important to end-users. Do Budweiser fans really care where their beer is brewed? For me, the answer is yes. Some consumers, not all, are taking interest in the origins of the products they buy. I believe we will observe more examples of companies exposing and promoting their supply chain operations. This of course poses a challenge to global businesses as they set-out to create a more transparent supply chain, making this a noteworthy topic to diligently follow.
I would be interested to know if any of you have used this tracking service provided by Budweiser, or something similar? Do you have any other examples of companies laying their supply chain cards out on the table for everyone to see?