Next week, I'll be presenting on a webinar with GE, examining how the global behemoth with over $150BB in revenue, and active in industries ranging from aerospace to finance to high tech manufacturing, manages its over 750,000 vendors worldwide.
Supplier information management (SIM) has been one of my focus areas for many years now, and it is exciting to look at how GE has addressed their supplier information management (SIM) challenges. I have actually worked directly with GE's global sourcing team in the past; training and helping many divisions of GE buyers get up-to-speed running e-sourcing events. This opportunity to reconnect with GE and see how they handle SIM is quite interesting.
As could be expected, GE's original SIM challenges were many:
- Complex supply chain spanning numerous verticals with significantly different data collection needs that over the years had led to disparate systems with inadequate data schema, and multiple gaps around supplier data regarding certifications, compliance, and contracts
- Poor spend visibility from missing or inaccurate data points -- e.g. categorization -- and inadequate processes in general
- Vendor proliferation: there are 700,000 global suppliers post cleanup!
- Global organization needing multiple interface languages; not only the corporate English but also French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese and others
As early as the 1990s, GE internally identified their vendor information management situation as an issue. Over the years, as technology has developed, GE has worked toward a remedy. The advent of SaaS solutions in combination with current SIM and master data management (MDM) thinking finally led to a breakthrough for GE, which is when they adopted the Aravo SIM platform.
With Aravo, GE has now managed to create one globally deployed vendor master management solution ("GSL") that addresses their need for a single source of truth when managing all suppliers across the entire GE organization. Other benefits with this global single instance approach are:
- Full visibility and enablement of vendor management automation
- Lower operating costs by removal of redundant vendor management solutions
- Consistent data collection to meet compliance and regulatory needs
There is more to the story than this brief post can address! We'll be sharing more details around how GE has driven supplier information management success, including Spend Matters commentary on setting up supplier management technology implementations right from the start. Join us on June 20 from 10-11am Central for this Aravo webinar.