Made in a Free World

San Francisco, CA
Round
Spring-Summer 2015
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Market Analysis
Organization Type
Human Services

Organization

Made In A Free World (MIAFW) is an anti-slavery organization that has been recognized, for its creative content and use of new technology to promote social change and disrupt the system of slavery, as a visionary leader in the fight against modern day slavery. Examples of MIAFW’s work include the “rockumentary” film, CALL+RESPONSE, and the multiple-award-winning website Slavery Footprint (www.slaveryfootprint.org). These projects have been used as popular and effective tools to strengthen a global movement of anti-slavery activists. Since the launch of Slavery Footprint in 2011, over two million people have calculated their footprint and over 23 million more have connected with the issue of modern-day slavery by asking: what products can I buy that are made without the use of slavery?

Situation

The proprietary software tool Forced Labor Risk Determination & Mitigation (FRDM) provides the data necessary to understand each product’s slavery footprint. Launched in December 2014, FRDM is a first-of-its kind dynamic Software as a Service platform designed to help corporations take bold steps towards mitigating the risk of slavery in their supply chain. To do this, MIAFW has developed a database that calculates the risk of forced labor in 54,000 products, services, and raw materials. This will allow a company of any size and sector to learn about the specific risk of each and every purchase.

Project Objectives

The ACT team was asked to catalog organizations with similar efforts to those of MIAFW, with a view toward understanding their offerings, opportunities to partner with them, and ways to potentially improve the FRDM tool based on what already exists in the market.

Project Overview

Using a combination of secondary and primary research, the ACT team compared and contrasted twelve organizations across three segments: non-profit organizations with a broad range of metrics, non-profit organizations focused on forced/child labor, and for-profit organizations that provide research and/or broad-based risk assessment consulting services.

Based on the team’s research, they outlined six dimensions that are key differentiators across the various supply chain assessment tools. These six attributes include pricing, proprietary elements, target audience, range of risk assessment, timeliness of data, and level of data aggregation. The analysis showed that MIAFW’s FRDM tool is uniquely positioned to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a dynamic, forced labor-specific tool with proprietary data and synthesis.

After analyzing MIAFW’s competition, it became apparent that gaining insights from prospective customers would provide a richer understanding of the competitive landscape, partnership opportunities, and market needs in order to guide MIAFW’s development and sales strategy. The ACT team conducted interviews with five large companies and two SMEs, asking pointed questions about their current risk assessment needs and tools and their perceptions of MIAFW and its FRDM tool.

Key Recommendations

  • Target SMEs with brand positioning or CEO vision closely tied to the MIAFW mission
  • Provide more detailed recommendations and more proprietary research to differentiate relative to existing and prospective competitors
  • Explore partnerships with larger research and risk assessment companies to be more attractive to large companies who want a comprehensive platform that provides a broad range of risk assessment

Final Report Outline

  • Competitive positioning analysis
  • Customer interviews