Business data analytics firm, Dun & Bradstreet, has released a new AI-powered third-party risk management solution to help supply chain and procurement practitioners improve due diligence and monitoring of all levels of supplier, customer, and third-party relationships.

As professionals charged with third-party risk management can testify, from permanent staff to procurement and supply chain interims, the task is virtually Sisyphean. The data needed to perform it effectively is spread across the organisation and housed in disparate systems. And it’s complex, involving each of the multi-layered tiers of vendor and supplier connections. But, for many companies, it remains an important, though largely unmet need.

A 2018 survey of procurement and compliance professionals by Dun & Bradstreet found that supplier/vendor monitoring and customer/vendor due diligence were amongst their highest priorities, yet most were struggling to gain accurate insights because of the widely distributed nature of the data they needed. Half of the respondents said that their organisations had suffered instances of fraud during the previous two years, and many blamed the failure of existing monitoring tools to pick up anomalous changes in entities supposedly being scrutinised.

Automation would be a boon in this field, yet it remains difficult to integrate disparate systems after, for example, mergers and acquisitions, and the data itself is often insufficiently consistent. As a consequence, serious reputational damage remains a danger. Dun & Bradstreet’s new Artificial Intelligence-powered solution, D&B Compass, appears to overcome the obstacles, delivering comprehensive due diligence across all relevant relationships (vendor, customer, and supplier), working across data system structures and producing aggregated overviews of third-party entities. The business insights it yields are designed to help procurement professionals minimise the risk to theirs and their companies’ reputations via a single, automated workflow. The solution is currently available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America.

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