Supplier Management: Backdrop and Platform Interest

In late 2011, we surveyed a number of practitioners to better understand their interest and requirements for material/substance level visibility and traceability as part of supplier management initiatives. With the help of ISM and Spend Matters readership, we were able to get a somewhat compact sample of 36 companies, among which 88% of respondents came from corporate supply chain or procurement, 21% came from a business unit procurement function and 6% came from risk management. Respondents were divided across industries with discrete manufacturing—diversified manufacturing, A&D, automotive and high technology manufacturing—representing the largest group of participants.

One of the first questions we asked of respondents was about their organizational situation in regards to deploying a materials/substance level solution (e.g., to monitor such initiatives as regulatory compliance for REACH, ROHS, Conflicts Minerals or similar programs). At the time, the largest percentage of respondents (40%) were at early stages of their investigation (see chart below) and “have an interest” in the area. For 11%, it was a priority, 6% already had a solution in place that met all of their needs and 29% had a solution that met some but not all of their needs.

Materials Traceability 1

This is a survey we’ll likely update and run again this year. We suspect that in the sixteen or so months that have elapsed since we originally surveyed this set of 36 companies, more organizations will have moved from investigating the marketplace and using solutions that partially address their needs to actively looking for specific solutions to solve targeted materials/substance centric issues. Of these areas in the US, Conflict Minerals legislation appears to be driving the largest interest levels in taking supplier management down to this level.

You can read the first installment of this series here:

The Vanguard of Ingredient/Materials Centric Supplier Management: Nike

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