Supplier Management Fundamentals — Conquering and Overcoming Information Silos

See the "Managing the Vendor Funnel" part of this post as well.

Recent Spend Matters Compass report, Supplier Information Management (SIM) Technology Fundamentals -- Part Two, offers a range of secrets that only those who've already earned their stripes through supplier management solution implementations are likely to know. In it, we provide a level of detail that we wish we had when implementing SIM toolsets for the first time ourselves. One core recommendation we make involves the importance of leveraging SIM to conquer and overcome silos inside organizations. Such efforts should include identifying all the internal cottage industry approaches to capture and track vendor data.

Spend Matters experience suggests a range of areas and silos to consider, including:

  • SHE (aka EH&S, HES) -- safety, health & environment
  • Supplier diversity -- small, woman, minority, veteran, local and other categories of vendors within this bracket
  • PPAP (product parts approvals) and ISIR (initial sample inspection report) systems can sit on valuable supplier and client data -- the latter is food for thought around extending SIM platforms to also engage around managing sell side content
  • Less obvious ERP data -- e.g. material requirements planning (MRP) and manufacturing resource planning (MRPII) -- containing vendor-related content that should be brought into the greater visibility offered by a SIM solution
  • Credentialing & badging -- onboarding as well as off-boarding
  • Asset Management

Deployed properly with upfront considerations and thought, SIM toolsets can provide a means of bridging all of these information -- and often process -- silos inside organizations. In the case of direct materials (e.g. parts, materials, chemicals, ingredients), procurement and supply chain organizations face a double whammy in the proliferation of ingredients, substances, parts, materials and regulations (regional, country, etc.) they must manage within their supply chains and global sources of supply in the elements comprising individual product supply chains. SIM tools can -- and should -- play an increasing role in bridging these information gaps on both the vendor and item levels.

- Jason Busch and <a href=- Thomas Kase

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