SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Ian Khan

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Conflict Minerals Filings Show Common Thread: The Most Comprehensive Reports Used California-Based Supply Chain Intelligence Firm

Dozens of companies filing some of the most comprehensive conflict minerals reports this week counted on a San Diego-area investigative data management firm to dig the deepest in the supply chain to find the source of raw materials used in their products.

Publicly traded companies such as TriMas Corporation (TRS),Tractor Supply Company (TSCO) and Target Corporation (TGT), all used Source Intelligence® as a third-party resource, resulting in reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission considered to be 100 percent compliant with the conflict minerals disclosure requirement of the Frank-Dodd act.

Additionally, companies hiring Source Intelligence early last year as a forensic investigator reported some of the highest completion rates (80-90 percent) in what was universally seen as a very daunting, complex and potentially expensive task to file the first ever conflict minerals report.

To date, just 1,300 of the 6,000 companies required to file with the SEC have submitted reports, indicating the depth of investigative and reporting challenges. Based on these SEC reports, dozens of companies stated they used a third-party vendor to assist them, with Source Intelligence being the most often-listed firm.

“As private industry has seen from these filings, mapping the supply chain is a major undertaking. We are dealing with a global spider web of various layers of suppliers, vendors and supply systems,” said Jess Kraus, CEO of Source Intelligence. “Over the past 24 months, we dug very deep into this international supply chain web and ended up providing our customers with a wealth of information.”

Kraus noted that Source Intelligence’s software platform, which is supported by a multi-lingual supplier engagement team, also uncovered some of the surprises being highlighted in recent news reports.

“Our investigations look at all suppliers and source materials. Our customers are not just looking at conflict minerals, but what other surprises may be out there. So, yes, we uncovered early in this process things like North Korean gold as well as other issues to present to companies,” Kraus said. “The good news is that companies want this level of detail so they can act upon it, quickly.”

Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, publicly traded companies based in the United States must report whether they use conflict minerals – raw materials like gold, tungsten, tantalum and tin – from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring war-torn countries. In their reports to the SEC this week, a few companies disclosed many of their products may contain North Korean gold. Current U.S. sanctions prevent importing materials from North Korea.

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