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Supply Chain Research

Bloomberg Terminal Function - SPLC

SPLC is the most important function for performing supply chain research on the Bloomberg terminal. By loading an equity in Bloomberg and then running the SPLC function, all the company’s suppliers and customers will display. Bloomberg has data on over 200,00 quantified supply chains. The data comes from reputable public sources, including filings with regulatory agencies such as the SEC, company reports and earnings conference call transcripts. Bloomberg then uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the costs that the companies incur in doing business with each of their suppliers as well as the revenue that each supplier derives from doing business with the company.  Analysis also includes the cost that customers incur in doing business with the company, and the revenue that the company derives from doing business with customers.

SPLC Examples

The company being analyzed appears in the center with the suppliers on the left and customers on the right. The company’s closest competitors display below. Suppliers and customers can be ranked by either company exposure or relationship exposure.

Company exposure ranks suppliers in descending order by the percentage of revenue that the supplier gets from sales to the company and the percentage of costs that customers incur in their business with the company.

Relationship exposure ranks suppliers in descending order by the percentage of costs that the company incurs in doing business with its suppliers and ranks customers in descending order by the percentage of revenues that the company derives from selling to its customers.

Clicking on the “I” within each box opens a separate window that displays a link to the source from which Bloomberg gets their information on revenue and cost. Often this is the company’s 10K statement filed with the SEC. The SEC requires that U.S. companies list any customers that account for 10% or more of the company’s revenue.  Data on customers who account for a smaller percentage of a U.S. company’s revenue do not need to be made publicly available. For foreign companies, requirements vary by country. In cases where revenues and costs are not available through financial statements, Bloomberg analysts will try to get the data from other sources. In some cases, Bloomberg provides estimates of revenue and costs.

Clicking on the boxes for suppliers, customers or peers will result in a new display with the selected company in the center and its suppliers and customers displayed on the side and its competitors displayed below.

By changing the company in the center it is possible to find vulnerabilities in the supply chain, such as suppliers located in unstable or hostile countries. For instance, one of Boeing’s suppliers is Kuka AG, a company based in Germany. The Midea Group Co. is in turn a major supplier of Kuka AG. Clicking on the box for Midea shows it to be a Chinese owned company.

The SPLC function can also show a company’s exposure to Federal government agencies, and government contractors. Government subcontractors that supply Boeing appear on the left side of the screen. Government agencies and prime contractors that are Boeing customers appear on the right side of the screen.