Supply Chain Management

How to Research a Company's Supply Chain

Finding a company's actual suppliers is often very difficult.  Many companies do not want to reveal this information to their competitors.

Two databases have scoured the news for you. Both Bloomberg and Mergent Online list suppliers as part of their coverage of company relationships.

In addition, searching SEC filings, the 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K reports, will often result in information about a company's suppliers and partners.

You can search newspapers and trade journals for mentions of a company's suppliers. Search the full text of the articles. Sometimes suppliers are happy to report their relationship or contracts with a major company. Go beyond just searching with the keywords - suppliers or supply chain. Look for mentions of  new contracts, joint ventures, partnerships, or distributors. Other keywords you might use in your search are procurement, purchasing, inventory management, outsourcing, suppliers, warehousing, logistics and operations management. Use these databases:

Use Mergent Supply Chain (within the Mergent Online database)

  • Offers public company profiles that highlight the relationships between a company's major customers, suppliers, competitors and partners.
  • All supplier connections are identified from SEC filings. Suppliers can be named by the company or can be named as customers by other companies.
  • The Supplier list can be sorted or ranked by revenues or market cap. The list can be filtered by product category or geographic location.
  • The Supplier table can be printed or downloaded to Excel.
  • Customers - The other side of the supply chain relationship, the Customer list, is available in Mergent Horizon.


Mergent Horizon - Supplier Statistics

Use SEC Filings

The SEC requires companies to report customers that represent more than 10% of their revenues. This information is often found in the company's 10-K or 10-Q reports. If a key supplier poses a risk to the company's finances, this could be reported in the 8-K report. Search a company's SEC filings in Edgar Online or LexisNexis.

In addition, search the company website. Companies also report information about customers, suppliers and market partners in press releases, conference calls and investor presentations that are found on the company website.

Use Bloomberg

Bloomberg offers a function for supply chain analysis, SPLC <GO> , that tracks a company's key customers, suppliers and competitors.

For example, to find Amazon's suppliers, search by the company ticker and function. You would type: AMZN <Equity> SPLC <Go>

View the relationship list in a chart (see below) or in tabular form.

Suppliers can be grouped by country to assess geographic concentration in the supply chain.

The supplier list can be filtered by industry subgroup or economic sectors.

Find Supplier News by typing: NI SUPPLY <Go> or  NI SPLC <Go>.

Bloomberg Supply Chain Analysis

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