Ingredient/Materials Centric Supplier Management: Solution Priorities

When it comes to supply chain compliance and risk management at the material/ingredient/substance level, companies have diverse sets of priorities in choosing software-centric solutions. In a previous survey on the subject, respondents suggested the highest priority item was making sure that these approaches were not done in a silo, with 70% stating that “integration with existing systems” was important. Supplier self-service (i.e., “the ability for suppliers to provide data themselves”) also saw a majority of respondents (64%) suggesting the need for solutions that enabled capability in this area. 61% suggested the need to effectively balance transparency with confidentiality.

Lower on the list were creating a “single version of truth” on a platform and the ability for “suppliers to receive expert support if they are unable to provide required data” (both at 48.5%). Still further down were the “ability to push data to customers in an automated fashion (45.5%) and the “ability for customers to extract data in an automated fashion” (42.4%). Keeping suppliers abreast of regulatory requirement changes was also a priority for respondents, with 50% suggesting that such a need was “highly critical to evaluating supply chain risk.”

The other side of the supply chain traceability compliance equation is customer compliance. The combined procurement/operations perspective on this is captured in the chart below.

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In summary, procurement and supply chain executives seem to believe that software can and should play an important role in managing supply chain traceability and vendor data at the more granular substance/material level (as opposed to only part and vendor-level compliance). However, companies are still just beginning to define their own requirements about how such systems will integrate with existing systems and how information will be captured, aggregated and shared.

Also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of this series.

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