Recently in The Open Kitchen, we’ve been spending a lot of time talking about the value of our Supplier Network and how crucial the supplier relationship can be for our customers when it comes to managing the source-to-settle process. We’ve discussed whether size really matters when it comes to your supplier network, and we’ve also taken a look at managing supplier risk.
Managing your supplier relationships can be a daunting task — especially if it’s not automated — and begins long before the first purchase order is cut. Like any relationship, we believe that working with your suppliers should take some time and attention. But it doesn’t have to be all that painful. And that’s where the right technology can really help you streamline the process of working with your suppliers. When you’re first looking at vendors, you typically start with gathering information about the size of the company, its financial health, delivery time, depth and category of product line(s), and many other factors. This information-gathering stage is typically done by virtue of your suppliers registering in your system. After that, your suppliers will then need to be qualified and selected (based on your criteria). But nurturing the relationship doesn’t end at this point; there is still a great deal that should be done to manage that relationship and ensure you continue to get the most out of it long-term. To really maximize the value of your supplier relationships, you should be able to enable sustainability, diversity, compliance, social responsibility, green initiatives, scorecarding and risk management.
Our Total Supplier Manager is just what its name implies — a comprehensive solution for managing your supplier relationships from start to finish. We give you the right tools to create a web-based centralized repository of your entire supplier base, and to help you better manage the pre-qualification stage during the initial registration process by incorporating commodity and category specific questions. And, as you begin working with suppliers on an on-going basis, you can strategically monitor and assess your suppliers’ performance through scorecards and performance management, as well as view automated analysis of spend data based on commodity categories, diversity, locations, business units, top vendors by spend and other views that are important to you.
I’ll spend more time talking about Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Compliance later this week. In the meantime, we’d love to hear about how you’re managing your supplier relationships. Are you getting the most out of them, or do your relationships need some work?