Case Study: National Nuclear Laboratory improves supplier onboarding with Rizikon

National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) achieves accelerated and consistent supplier onboarding, along with new insights into supplier risk for procurement and supplier management teams, by utilising Crossword’s Rizikon Assurance online platform.

The challenge


National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the government owned but operationally independent UK national laboratory for nuclear fission. Nuclear is one of the most highly regulated and closely monitored sectors, so attention to detail and efficiency in the supplier onboarding process are critical.


NNL constantly works with suppliers to ensure they have the correct processes and insurance in place, as well as necessary industry certifications, such as ISO 27001 for informations security management. Some of these suppliers are small but offer highly specialised services to the nuclear sector, whilst others are international organisations on multi-year contracts for construction, maintenance and decommissioning projects.


A typical onboarding process requires a supplier to complete a large number of forms about every aspect of its business operations. This can be time consuming to manage for all parties, leading to delays, complications, and poor visibility of risks.


NNL were keen to create a culture change in the way it serves its customers and engages supply chains. Their aim was to maintain a solid reputation and be agile, reliable, safe and innovative in the way it onboards and manages hundreds of supplier contracts across the full nuclear lifecycle.


The solution


NNL are using Rizikon Assurance, Crossword’s supplier assurance and third party risk management platform, to bring new efficiencies to their supplier onboarding and management processes.


Rizikon is a secure, encrypted portal which puts NNL in control of managing risks in their supply chain and the financial, regulatory and reputational risks they indirectly carry.


Better risk visibility


Rizikon assists with supply chain assurance by providing standard questionnaires which can be sent to suppliers on subjects such as cyber security, GDPR, supplier onboarding, modern slavery and anti-bribery and corruption. NNL can also create and send their own custom questionnaires through Rizikon. Completed supplier questionnaires are tracked and then scored, giving NNL a 360 degree view of their overall supply chain risk.


All ‘gold and silver contracted suppliers are on the Rizikon platform. NNL can demonstrate the risk profile and status of suppliers at any time, as well as identify risk across the entire contract group.


Ease and evolution


As a cloud-based SaaS platform, NNL was able to start using Rizikon immediately. All assessments are completed through a secure web browser connection and intuitive user experience. Suppliers can easily insert comments and raise queries, which are immediately visible to NNL for review.


Fast onboarding and credit checking


NNL is using the credit checking features of Rizikon, through a direct integration with CreditSafe, which provides an instant status report on a supplier’s credit worthiness during the onboarding process.


This step is particularly important because, in order to minimise risk in the long-term projects in the nuclear industry, NNL must independently verify the financial future and previous performance of the suppliers they work with. This can be a very time consuming part of the process.


Victoria McConville, Senior Business Analyst – Procurement, at NNL, said:


“Rizikon has helped us make our supplier onboarding processes more efficient and improved the consistency of communications with suppliers, which has given us insight into new ways of reviewing risks. NNL can manage any query related to the completion of assessments securely through this platform, which makes the process quicker and efficient, especially with features such as credit checks, and integration with Dark Beam for cyber security audits.”


We were able get up and running very quickly with the platform and the development team at Crossword has been very responsive to suggestions for feature additions and improvements.”