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Supply Chain Mapping

Understanding your multi-tier supply chain

Today’s purchasing, sourcing and supply chain professionals are faced with the challenges of managing risk across increasingly global and complex supply networks. Organisations need to understand not just the direct suppliers they buy from, but also those who indirectly contribute components or services across the extended supply chain.

Achilles Supply Chain Mapping allows companies to “map” their extended supply chains, and view supplier information, beyond their Level 1/Tier 1 suppliers.


Managing Supply Chain risk

Events elsewhere in the world – far from your own business locations, can impact your brand reputation, and disrupt your supply chain.

Despite this risk, Achilles research* revealed that 40% of companies who sourced only in the UK, and almost 20% who sourced globally, had no supply chain information beyond their direct suppliers.

*Achilles IFF research 2013

Companies with visibility of the extended supply chain are aware of these risks, and can build contingencies and react to disruptions in an informed way.

How it Works

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Supply Chain Mapping Brochure














Product level information

When the programme is activated, as a buyer you will have visibility of your supply chain by product code. This supports you in understanding previously unknown risks in your supply chain and assists in quickly identifying all the suppliers contributing to the production of a specific product. A range of search, filter and display tools allow you to work with and manage this data.

Supply Chain visibility and insight

Achilles Supply Chain Mapping can help you by providing:

  • Clarity of who is in your supply chain beyond the first tier
  • Visibility of supply chain convergence – highlighting potential single points of failure
  • Information to support mitigation of supply chain risk
  • Awareness of how global events (e.g. natural disasters) might disrupt your supply chain
  • Awareness of the interdependencies in your supply chain through search, report and visual display interfaces.

Supply Chain Mapping collects information on sub-suppliers, links relationships, and expands visibility of the wider supply chain. As part of the Supply Chain Mapping programme, suppliers will be asked basic questions that relate to their company profile and contact details. They will then confirm relationships between the products they sell and the products they buy, creating links that map the supply chain.


The Process

We use an automated “cascading invitation” process to gather supplier data which you can then search and filter to create reports and view via interactive visual displays. Supply Chain Mapping is initially adopted by a buying organisation who invites selected Level 1/Tier 1 suppliers to join the programme (indicating the product codes associated with those suppliers). The process is then repeated along the supply chain as suppliers in turn invite their suppliers.

Buyers and suppliers are able to view reports showing details of suppliers in their chain.


1. Achilles Supply Chain Mapping is initially adopted by a buying organisation that selects and adds details of product codes they buy and the associated Level 1/Tier 1 suppliers that provide them.

2. Once a supplier is invited, an automated invitation to join the Supply Chain Mapping programme is sent.

3. The supplier then confirms or declines each of the product codes included in their invitation and adds details of the related product codes bought and the associated sub-suppliers.

4. Creating the link between product codes sold and product codes bought ensures continuation of the chain. By doing this, each supplier will develop a view of their own supply chain.

The basic Supply Chain Mapping programme is free-of-charge to suppliers.

Protecting confidentiality

To protect confidentiality, a company in the chain will only be able to view “their” chain and in a “supplier” direction only:

  • A buyer can view their suppliers and associated tiers of sub-suppliers.
  • In addition, any company in the programme can choose to hide their supply chain from other selected companies.


The Achilles Difference
Achilles acts as an independent partner, providing validated data and insightful analytics to enable buyers across a sector to identify and manage risk, and suppliers to increase market reach while increasing compliance and minimising costs for the network as a whole.

© 2013 Achilles Group Limited