How companies could benefit from sharing information

Companies could be wasting more than £20 billion collectively across the world as they do not share information about their suppliers, new data has revealed.


Achilles – a business information provider –has revealed only a third of firms work with other companies to manage information.


Firms from across the UK, USA, Spain, Brazil and the Nordic region all revealed that they needed similar details from suppliers.


In fact, 88% of them reported that they would need the same health and safety, environment, quality and sustainability and ethics information.


Working together would mean that finances are not required to carry out these checks more than once, according to those questioned from the oil and gas, manufacturing, construction and utilities industries.


Reducing the administrative burden


In the UK, 31% of firms revealed they shared the administrative burden with firms in the same industry in order to reduce costs.


Carrying out due diligence such as pre-qualification and verification would aid all parties involved, providing further finance that can be poured into other aspects of the business.


Sharing information between firms was more popular in the USA and in Nordic countries, where 32% and 37% respectively were found to do so.


The figure was lower in Spain however, as firms were less likely to share the administrative burden and rack up higher costs.


Why share information?


Achilles estimates that £40 billion is spent by businesses globally on managing information and suggests that half of that figure is wasted.


For smaller businesses with overseas operations, such losses could place them under serious financial threat.


Restructuring a business and altering its plans relating to data management and sharing could ease the burden, if addressed in the right manner.


Sharing information is more efficient, although the process could be boosted further were a common set of global standards implemented for all firms across the globe.


Collecting, checking and auditing information can be a costly and time consuming process, but is one that is essential for many businesses.


The vast majority of information that could be shared is not commercially sensitive either, meaning firms have no reason to fear giving it to others.


Given the increasing complexity of global supply chains, sharing more information is considered to be at least a logical step in the right direction.


By Phil Smith


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