Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) – Do you have the basics in place?

Success in SRM starts by having the basic information and systems in place.

In the US we are celebrating Columbus Day so exploring ways to gain a stronger competitive advantage seems appropriate.

Last week I attended a fascinating webinar presented by Peter Smith of Spend Matters on Next Generation Supplier Management. This was sponsored by BravoSolution. I encourage you to check it out. He presented many relevant ideas that will help your organization.

One of his key takeaways centered on having the basics in place.

In my experience this is a challenge for most organizations.

All organizations have some information in their database on all suppliers. Many times it is not consistent across the database.

Some of the issues that seem to be common include the inability to:

  • Generate a real-time report of contract renewal dates
  • Create a follow-up list of missing required documents
  • Set up advance notification on key dates and events
  • Conduct true wildcard searches on every field in the database
  • Search attached documents for specific language and values
  • Send email requests to all suppliers
  • Sent email requests to a subset of suppliers based on specific criteria
  • Upload new information to the database on multiple suppliers from tools like Excel
  • Create universal updates on certain fields
  • Create new fields for each supplier or a subset of suppliers

One other issue that drives people crazy is incomplete or outdated contact information. Wouldn’t your system be much easier to update if it operated like your phone? If you could automatically update a contact’s information based on information from a call or email wouldn’t that be cool. This approach would also avoid errors caused by manual input to update records.

Solving some or all of these issues will save significant time. It will also positively impact the bottom line since your team will have more time to focus on strategic initiatives like building stronger alliances with key suppliers.

If your system allows suppliers to self-register and to update base information prior to sourcing events this will also save time and eliminate errors.

Imagine getting a report that listed all of the changes a supplier made that you could approve with a few clicks. How much easier would your life be if this report could be automatically sent to your inbox?

I understand that change is difficult. There may also be budget pressure that makes investing in new tools an issue even if the evidence is clear that they will save time and money. Some of the available solutions will let you “rent” the tool for an event before buying. This is a smart approach especially if budget pressure is high.

Action Step: If you believe that better functionality will enhance performance, you should strongly consider an evaluation event to experience how this could enhance your team’s results. I can facilitate that for you.

EC Sourcing Group is one of the companies I represent because their tools have been created by dedicated and experienced sourcing professionals. They know the day-to-day challenges your team faces and have built their tools to solve them. If you want to know how, I invite you torequest a demo or 30-minute discovery conversation so you can experience the platform, process, people, and tools. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

Next week I will continue on this same theme so your organization can improve your bottom line.
If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
You Won’t Drift to Success©
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Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life
Mike Jeffries