Features

New Perspective shines a light on what’s missing in supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be old news these days, but its impact on Australian industry remains a hot topic.

Widespread transport, material and labour shortages, rising inflation and the resulting cost pressures have put a serious strain on every sector, forcing stakeholders to consider how heavily they rely on international shipping to fuel their movements.

It’s an issue that affects everyone from sole traders to national corporations, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

Procurement and supply specialist Industry Capability Network (ICN) said a proactive approach is essential to improve national self-sufficiency.

Following its own advice, ICN has leveraged four decades of data to reveal gaps in the local supply chain before they become a problem for government or private project owners.

The information comes from ICN’s extensive procurement database, ICN Gateway, which connects major project owners with suppliers based on their specific requirements.

Commercial manager Maddalyn McBeath details the network’s new capability analysis tool, Perspective.

“Perspective uses company information from ICN Gateway to highlight industry capability in different regions for specific sectors,” she said.

“Let’s say you have a rail project underway. What happens when procurement is already underway before the project owner is

aware of gaps in the supply chain? Suddenly you need to import the missing capability from interstate, or potentially overseas.

“Perspective identifies those gaps ahead of time so projects can be planned accordingly.”

The tool is also being used to evaluate individual businesses on ICN Gateway, which details contact information, products and services, equipment, certifications, staff demographics, project history and more for over 80,000 entities.

ICN consultants are deployed around the country to speak with suppliers directly, collecting data on the business, region and industry they operate in.

Perspective then compiles the information into reports for ICN clients.

“We’ve published a number of in-depth reports across defence, construction, maritime service and supply, renewable energy, gas and hydrogen, aquaculture, mining, and other priority sectors,” McBeath said.

“We can design a project within almost any sector using a theoretical contracting structure. Within each contract, or package of work, we identify the capable businesses from within our database, taking into account any prequalification or geographical coverage requirements.”

“This allows government to promote areas showing great capability and invest in the ones that need development, essentially reverse engineering industry growth.”

ICN spent more than six years carefully developing the technology, which both private and public sector clients say is a valuable communicator of important market intelligence.

“Perspective is all about maximising the local supply chain and understanding Australia’s business ecosystem, to build sovereign capability and increase project efficiency,” McBeath said.

“This will create more jobs, improve infrastructure, and make sure Australia can self-sustain in times of crisis.”

“The goal of ICN is to support the growth of Australian businesses by maximising local industry participation in private and public procurement, but this solution is also adaptable to reduce disruptions like those caused by the global pandemic and war in Ukraine.”

To find out more about the network behind Perspective, visit the ICN website.

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