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Putting the Supplier at the Heart of Procurement Thinking – Part 4

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Till now we discussed the growing need for supplier management and the benefits of putting it in practice. (Click here for part 1, part 2 & part 3)

In today’s post, the last in the series we will talk about taking steps to implement supplier management principles.

If the focus for procurement should be more strongly on suppliers, what can executives practically do to take steps in that direction? The theoretical positioning is one aspect – putting suppliers and supplier information management more firmly at the center of thinking.

Let’s see what actions organizations can take at a supplier level to gain value.

  • Supplier information– lies at the heart of effective supplier management. This means looking at the end to end process of gathering, updating and using information, from the initial on-boarding, through verification and updating, then linking this with spend analytic and ongoing performance management
  • Risk management programme – with a focus on supplier and supply chain risk, initiating a risk programme is another obvious step for organizations that have not yet done so. As a starting point, organizations should define the most serious risks associated with suppliers
  • Supplier relationship management – or equivalent programmes for key suppliers will be another manifestation of a strong supplier focus. This however demands basics of good supplier information and structured contract management
  • Supporting technology – more solution providers are taking a supplier-focused approach, for instance with dashboards designed to provide relevant information with a strong supplier focus for procurement executives, and links between on-boarding processes, sourcing and supplier information management, and even spend analytics.

Suppliers are the ones who provide the goods and services that the organization needs to survive and thrive, and who increasingly contribute to the top line of the business as well as the bottom line. Thus it’s of utmost importance that supplier management takes the center stage.

Hope you enjoyed reading the series.

Learn More: Vendor Management Guide

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