Despite increased complexity in global supply chain networks, less than one-third (26 percent) of business executives are using data analytics tools and processes to manage the risks of these third-party relationships, according to a new Deloitte survey. Thirteen percent of respondents are still learning how to use analytics software, while 22 percent use no data analytics.

“Many market leading companies leverage advanced data analytics tools and forensic accounting to identify anomalies in their transactional data,” stated Mark Pearson, principal of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. “Using a forensic mindset when analyzing big data can provide value to an organization by adding context to suppliers and transactions, potentially adding to increasing profits and mitigating the risk of fraud, waste and abuse.”

Additionally, 31 percent of the business executives surveyed said their organization has faced supply chain fraud, waste or abuse in the past 12 months. While 40 percent of those executives have a program in place to detect and thwart supply chain abuse, 28 percent reported that their organizations do not have a program in place.

The online survey polled more than 2,600 professionals from industries including consumer and industrial products; public sector; technology, media and telecommunications; and financial services during a Feb. 26 webcast.

The survey also found that 23 percent of respondents monitor their third party relationships less than once a year (13 percent) or not at all (10 percent). The biggest challenge to their organizations’ supply chain fraud detection capabilities, according to 25 percent of respondents, is the acquisition of a new entity.

“Globalization, regulation and economic volatility are some of the top issues adding to the complexity of today’s supply chain,” stated Larry Kivett, partner of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. “Failure to adequately and actively monitor supply chain relationships can substantially increase a company's risk of significant financial losses, as well as exposure to legal and regulatory investigations, civil and criminal litigation, and reputational damage.”

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