Modeling Company Risk and Importance in Supply Graphs

author: Lucas Carstens, Thomson Reuters
published: July 10, 2017,   recorded: June 2017,   views: 976


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Managing one’s supply chain is a key task in the operational risk management for any business. Human procurement officers can manage only a limited number of key suppliers directly, yet global companies often have thousands of suppliers part of a wider ecosystem, which makes overall risk exposure hard to track. To this end, we present an industrial graph database application to account for direct and indirect (transitive) supplier risk and importance, based on a weighted set of measures: criticality, replaceability, centrality and distance. We describe an implementation of our graph-based model as an interactive and visual supply chain risk and importance explorer. Using a supply network (comprised of approximately 98, 000 companies and 220, 000 relations) induced from textual data by applying text mining techniques to news stories, we investigate whether our scores may function as a proxy for actual supplier importance, which is generally not known, as supply chain relationships are typically closely guarded trade secrets. To our knowledge, this is the largest-scale graph database and analysis on real supply relations reported to date.

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