Modern supply chain mapping technology makes it possible to "keep tabs on incredibly complex supply chains without additional effort, or costly audits and certifications.

Modern supply chain mapping technology makes it possible to "keep tabs on incredibly complex supply chains without additional effort, or costly audits and certifications.

Digital supply chain mapping platform Sourcemap has rolled out a new responsible leather platform, a tool aimed at mapping the supply chain for leather hides and skins.

"Ensuring leather is responsibly sourced means keeping tabs on an ever-changing global supply chain, ensuring best practices, and monitoring for external risks. But with hundreds of supply sites in a typical leather supply chain, it can't be done by juggling spreadsheets and emailing suppliers," Sourcemap said, adding modern supply chain mapping technology is the solution making it possible to "keep tabs on incredibly complex supply chains without additional effort, or costly audits and certifications."

"And it's quick: most supply chains can be mapped in under one month."

The Responsible Leather Platform augments traditional approaches (self-assessments, audits and certifications) with supply chain mapping: accounting for every step in raw material production, from farms to slaughterhouses and finally wet-blue and finishing tanneries, Sourcemap says.

Doing so makes it possible not only to manage industrial standards but also to ensure that animals are humanely treated and that forests and ecosystems remain protected. The Responsible Leather Platform uses some innovative data collection tools to quickly and accurately map to the origins, and the latest in deforestation monitoring to keep tabs on the risk posed by cattle grazing in certain regions. What follows is a step-by-step guide to modernising your leather supply chain through continuous mapping and risk assurance.

"Any successful responsible sourcing programme relies on clear goals and metrics, an open communication channel with suppliers (including raw material suppliers), and vigilance to ensure that practices are up to standards and continuously improved."

Sourcemap's Responsible Leather Platform achieves this through a suite of business process support solutions, all available through one secure cloud platform:

  • Supplier discovery: Cascading surveys reveal the identity of sub-suppliers (wet-blue tanneries, slaughterhouses, and farms) through an easy-to-use online portal.
  • Supplier benchmarks: Every supplier is scored according to industry best practices for a quick overview of problem areas, and a deeper dive if the supplier is located in a high-risk area.
  • Risk heat maps: Generate instant and continuous insights into the risks posed to water, forests and biodiversity areas through a powerful geo-analytics engine that relies on satellite imagery and best-available risk probability heat maps.
  • Traceability: Verify and validate the supply chain through continuous due diligence powered by reconciling every transaction, every delivery, every receipt and certificate - all in one automated platform with built-in auditor access.

"Responsible leather is a competitive advantage for brands who can confirm that they select their suppliers responsibly, and for B2B suppliers who compete in a commodity market with others who have little or no visibility to offer. Make your choices heard through a customer portal where you can share the supply chain for every shipment, every SKU, and take the burden of supply chain off your customers," Sourcemap says.

"The Responsible Leather Platform is built on a decade of supply chain mapping and traceability expertise. The technology and business processes have been validated on a diverse array of mined and manufactured materials. Beginning with commitments in leather, brands and traders can expand use of the platform to ensure compliance with brand-specific key performance indicators across the entire raw material portfolio."