Northbrook, Ill.—July 31, 2014—Underwriters Laboratories? (UL), a global independent safety science provider, announced the expansion of its Information & Insights (I&I) service division. On the heels of acquiring GoodGuide, IDES, Innovadex and The Wercs, as well as launching the division's website, I&I is becoming a one-stop shop for material, component and product insight.
Backed by science and enabled through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology platform, the growing I&I division is designed to address one of the biggest safety challenges of our time: the demand for more sustainable products within today's complex, globally diverse supply chains. Currently, the flow of supply chain information used to identify non-sustainable materials, components or products is often times either limited or constricted, resulting in costly product recalls and the potential loss of billions of dollars due to inventory rendered unusable.
I&I solves the issue of inventory risk by optimizing the end-to-end data flow between key supply chain stakeholders, including: suppliers who demand that all proprietary source information be safeguarded through controlled access; manufacturers who require current, easy-to-index materials and/or ingredient insights across the supply chain for ensuring greater regulatory compliance; retailers who need ongoing access to granular product information in order to mitigate inventory risk; and lastly, consumers who are now making better-informed purchasing decisions based on sourcing choices and the proven sustainability of a product.
With I&I, key business decision-makers have insight into their supply chains with the ability to screen and eliminate materials, components and products that are not sustainable, or that may cause downstream inventory risk. And through its close association with parent company UL, I&I offers customers extended value with access to scientists, an extensive service network for product certifications, onsite and environmental audits, and over 120 years of product evaluation, testing and safety certification expertise.
According to Sara Greenstein, president of UL's Supply Chain & Sustainability Business Unit, "I&I was created to drive the much-needed connectivity of data across all supply chains, and to enable product decision-makers to source and buy sustainable materials, components and products faster and with far greater quality assurance. Our mission at I&I is to enable the mass adoption of safe, healthy and sustainable products based on improved supply chains that everyone—from businesses to consumers—can benefit from."
The expanding I&I division marks another step in the transformation of all global supply chains by empowering companies to enhance the value of their product offerings through increased visibility into the production of more sustainable products. I&I breaks down the siloed walls of current supply chain data-sharing processes by offering greater information granularity throughout the entire supply chain from the beginning of product sourcing and development to market acceptance.
Mathieu Guerville, director of strategy and business development, stated, "In light of today's heightened consumer safety concerns, coupled with the growing demand for sustainable products, I&I provides the right kind of preventive intelligence needed by product designers. More importantly, I&I is helping companies to increase their revenue potential by creating safer, more sustainable products. Sustainable profitability is the future of the supply chain."