Might next year finally be the year that supplier performance management finally takes off? Just as supply risk management caught the headlines -- if not the wallets -- of early adopters this year, supplier performance management, or "Strategic Supply Management" as Apexon calls it, appears poised to capture the interest of manufacturers and retailers in the near future. If Verticalnet can survive independently long enough to take advantage of this market opportunity with their enhanced supplier performance management application, perhaps they'll set the standard for what to look for in a solution.
According to their most recent announcement which is hidden away in a broader suite enhancement press release, their new product "enables companies to more effectively track and manage supplier performance, compliance, and areas of risk through enterprise-wide supplier development tools such as supplier strategy development, score-carding, web-surveys, automated data collection, actionable alerts, and corrective action project execution … Using the enterprise view of a supplier as the center-point for managing the supplier relationship, key stakeholders including engineering, customer support, logistics, procurement, and the supplier themselves facilitate a monitored two-way information exchange resulting in a 360 degree view of supplier performance, a qualitative supplier assessment to augment quantitative scorecards, and the active participation of the supplier as a partner in the performance improvement process." Good stuff. But I'm also looking forward to seeing how Apexon and Emptoris, among other providers with capabilities in this arena, look to enhance and position their solutions as well.