The Dark Side of Supply Chain Technology

Presenter: Yuxi Zhao

Research Category: Social Sciences, Business, and Law
College: D'Amore-McKim School of Business
Major(s): Business Administration
Graduation Date: 2022

As supply chain transparency and traceability become more important factors for companies, customers, and regulators to consider, both high-tech and low-tech solutions have been adopted to make supply chains more transparent. This project first defines supply chain transparency and traceability and then introduces the technologies used in modern-day supply chains. Although technologies often are seen as the ultimate solutions to supply chain problems, technologies can be manipulated and misused due to their limitations and process design flaws. Through literature reviews, the purpose of this study is to summarize and categorize the vulnerabilities of supply chain technologies. To narrow the scope, we focused on the industries that have been identified as high risk for supply chain manipulation like labor employment, the fishing industry, the banking system, corporation, etc. This project categorizes vulnerabilities and barriers into four types Ð the internal limitation of technology, the human factors within the adoption of technology, the implementation problems, and lastly the lack of access to technology. This project also lists several recommendations with regards to the technological barriers in increasing supply chain visibility and traceability. This study is significant because supply chain vulnerabilities are exploited by illicit supply networks. Increasing understanding of such vulnerabilities and their application can potentially prevent the operation of illicit supply networks.