Driving Growth Through Supplier Transparency in a Post-Pandemic World

Authors: Nick White, Head of Partnerships, Dun & Bradstreet UK & Ireland and Vivek Ramachandran, CEO, Serai

Having served businesses for nearly 200 years, Dun & Bradstreet knows the vital role that data plays in striking the right balance between risk and opportunity across your business relationships.

But we also appreciate that strong relationships – built on trust and transparency – are central to success, which is particularly true of retail.

This is why we partnered with Serai, a digital B2B platform that connect buyers, brands, manufacturers and suppliers in the clothing and garments industry to help companies build supply networks they know and trust, ultimately paving the way for transparent and sustainable supply chains.

Introducing Serai

Launched in 2019, Serai exists to simplify global trade in an increasingly digital world. Its parent company, HSBC, was founded 154 years prior with the same core objective: to facilitate international trade.

But until recently, despite tech-driven developments in nearly all areas of business, trade remained just as complex as it was in 1864.

Opaque supply chains continued to plague the industry and retailers were constantly crippled with cancelled orders, delayed shipments and cash flow problems. To combat this, Serai realised that the industry needed to look beyond banking to simplify trade.

Its solution was a data powered platform to help businesses connect with ethical, trustworthy and reliable suppliers, to bring transparency to supply chains and build a robust risk management framework by identifying risks early.

Evidently, this was a sure-fire solution to the age-old challenges faced by retail. But the historic art of trading was deep-seated in its in-person heritage. To propel the industry forward, a catalyst was required to help retail realise the digital transformation it so needed.

The impact of COVID-19

The well-documented events of 2020 turned trading on its head, as in-person transactions suddenly became impossible owing to the mobility restrictions placed upon society to curb the spread of COVID-19.

For many businesses, this required a swift pivot to bring operations online. For others, like Serai, they had foreseen the changing business landscape – even prior to the pandemic – and knew that the future of buyer-seller relationships would largely exist in a digital world.

So, when the pandemic turned the apparel industry upside down, Serai was well placed to provide an essential service: connecting the relevant parties to support business continuation, as well as disrupting and redefining the apparel industry for the better.

Ultimately, the pandemic shocked and accelerated the movement to data that Serai and Dun & Bradstreet has built our businesses on. In the process, this forced retail to diversify customer bases and review existing suppliers that may not be ethically sound.

Today, business has adapted to a digital-first world, which is almost certainly here to stay post-COVID-19. Through our partnership, Serai and Dun & Bradstreet will continue to reimagine the industry by harnessing data and connecting customers and retailers in a safe and reliable way.

A profitable partnership for all

Serai is evidently a powerful platform for business of all shapes and sizes, with its mission to help companies build relationships in apparel sourcing and grow their operations in a digital and efficient way.

By using Dun & Bradstreet’s data to provide in-depth company insights, mitigate risk and ensure corporate compliance, our partnership is an assured recipe for business success – and a more ethical, sustainable retail landscape.

In the words of Serai’s CEO, Vivek Ramachandran: “Insights such as the ones D&B provides can help customers to monitor their counterparties and identify risks early on, potentially saving their business time and costs in the long run.

“With the apparel industry going through changes and challenges, especially in the last year, it’s increasingly important for our customers to have access to the right data and analytics to build an effective risk management framework.”

No-one can predict what the future holds, but by leveraging even more of Dun & Bradstreet's services, including D&B Hoovers, D&B Credit and D&B Onboard, Serai can lean on our expertise and resource to continue to disrupt the apparel industry for the better.

Together, we can fuel one another’s growth in the digital business landscape of today, and lay the foundations for a more trusting, transparent and sustainable supply chains in the post-pandemic world of tomorrow.