Resilinc: the link between ethics and supply chains

Being resilient in her entrepreneurship, Bindiya Vakil has impacted the world through her industry-leading approach to supply chains, emphasizing the importance of ethics, respect and good communication.

Image Courtesy of the Student Innovation Center

Being resilient in her entrepreneurship, Bindiya Vakil has impacted the world through her industry-leading approach to supply chains, emphasizing the importance of ethics, respect and good communication.

Ashlyn Ware

CEO and founder of Resilinc, Bindiya Vakil, spoke on her experiences of bringing risk assessment to the field of supply chain management—a goal that was laughed at for 12 years before it began to change the industry. 

“We’ll be designing the supply chain of the future,” Vakil said.

Even in the virtual format of this Innovation Technical Circuit Workshop, Vakil’s passion for supply chain management was apparent through her body language and smile.

Over the past two years, supply chains have seen major disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and environmental concerns. In 2020, hospitals across the nation experienced shortages of PPE, making the fight against COVID-19 all the more challenging. 

Vakil said there are “record numbers of supply chain disruptions” happening right now. 

Vakil founded Resilinc, a supply chain risk management company with a revamped approach to solving and preventing supply chain disruptions. Resilinc uses data to prepare businesses for possible disruptions before reaching a detrimental stage.

Resilinc helps companies “harness a power of information,” Vakil said. 

The idea of risk management is not a new concept. Vakil compared the current semiconductor shortage to the shortage of horseshoe nails in medieval times.

This is “wisdom of the ages,” Vakil said. Our ancestors knew that “little things can have big consequences.”

The semiconductor shortage has cost the world billions of dollars, sparking a realization in companies and procurement professionals that risk assessment and prediction are crucial to the health of supply chains.

Maintaining supplies and resources is critical for efficient supply chains, but Vakil stressed the importance of ethical treatment, and sourcing of suppliers is equally important.

“Supply chains also have a dark side,” Vakil said. “They pollute and take advantage of communities” if they aren’t managed properly.

All companies require connections and networks to create and sell products, so maintaining respectful relationships is crucial to a healthy supply chain. Vakil stressed that no company could function in isolation.

“Without our suppliers, we are lost,” Vakil said.

To procure a healthy relationship and thus an efficient supply chain, companies must be engaged in good communication with their suppliers. However, this approach can be a struggle for procurement professionals who aren’t used to this new risk assessment approach.

Luckily, Vakil’s Resilinc company can help teach this new approach. Resilinc aims to build resilient and ethical supply chains by gathering data and information concerning suppliers through news aggregates and the internet.

For example, when car manufacturing supply chains started experiencing shortages, Ford was one of the first to see disruptions. Toyota, on the other hand, had 4-6 months of resilience because the company was in-tune and fully aware of its supply chain.

It’s not enough to know where resources are harvested or where products are designed; companies must be invested in their supply chain at every level.

While the real-life experiences of supply chain disruptions are abundant right now, Vakil experienced many challenges when promoting the Resilinc company’s mission statement. As a female immigrant first-time entrepreneur, building her company was challenging. It took her 60 “Nos” to finally hear one “Yes.”

No matter what, “love your idea,” Vakil said.

Through her resiliency, Vakil has created a company that will change the future of supply chain risk management. Resilinc is a company that will withstand challenges such as the Great Resignation because its value lies with the satisfaction of its employees, consumers, and suppliers.

Despite the challenges, Resilinc is making a huge impact on the world, and Vakil inspires future world-changers.

Vakil’s lecture was one of many upcoming Innovation Circuit Workshops sponsored by the Student Innovation Center. For future event information, visit the Student Innovation Center website.