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Effective employment of business intelligence methodologies in the supply chain business function area has exploded in the last decade. As the number of vendors providing integrated BI products that span the universe of usable data has increased, the issue associated with acquiring the data for analysis and reporting has grown accordingly.
Supply chain reporting techniques are exploiting information from both within and outside the using organization. Every member of the modern supply chain is a "stakeholder" and in some companies, an active recipient and/or provider of raw data. Here is where the rub comes into play; is the information provided by a partner in the chain from a legally acceptable source?
The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. § 1831-1839), in layman's terms, provides criminal penalties for theft of trade secrets that benefit foreign powers and associated theft for economic or commercial purposes. A point to consider as you mine the data in your supply chain is; could any of that information have come into the possession of a supplier as the result of a potentially criminal act? Forewarned is forearmed!