Category Archives: Supplier Management

Requirements Framework: Supplier Management 101 (Part 2)

supplier lifecycle management

As a follow-on to our first installment of this series on supplier management, we describe our underlying requirements framework for supplier management processes and the related subprocesses that tend to get supported by solution providers who use terminology such as supplier lifecycle management (SLM), supplier information management (SIM), third-party management and other monikers. Our framework provides a holistic view of supplier management but aligns process-wise to SLM and data-wise to a subset of master data management (MDM). Within the SLM process cycle, we link out to other processes that have well defined solution provider markets, such as e-sourcing, contract life management (CLM), purchase to pay (P2P) and supply risk management, but we also dive into supplier engagement processes for not just supplier qualification and onboarding but also deeply into performance management, risk and compliance management and relationship management areas.

Supplier Management in 2016: Onboarding, Risk Management, Development and More

supplier management

Supplier management is a catch-all description for a set of activities and technologies that are often carried out in silos across an organization. From accounts payable-centric onboarding (also known as enablement) of new suppliers to risk management activities with a supply chain focus, to strategic development centered on joint cost takeout and innovation led by cross functional procurement and non-procurement teams, supplier management has grown to encompass a wide range of initiatives and numerous individuals both within and outside the organization.

Supplier Management 101 (Part 1): Introduction

supplier network

Supplier management is simply the management of supplier-facing business processes throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. Many procurement organizations have historically used strategic sourcing as the core methodology by which supply bases are shaped and suppliers are commercially engaged. But sourcing by itself is just one episodic process in a much larger supplier management lifecycle. In response, many organizations have broadened their sourcing activities to a category management activity that transcends category sourcing and pushes upstream into stakeholder management and downstream into deeper supplier engagement. Additionally, as rationalized supply bases lead to larger suppliers that provide multiple categories, and as procurement organizations are increasingly seeking innovation and top line growth from key suppliers, supplier management is expanding beyond its traditional post-sourcing and post-contracting to become the default methodology to manage the lifecycle of suppliers within which these processes and other source-to-pay processes get executed. So, when we talk about “supplier management,” we are really talking about “supplier lifecycle management” because of this broader scope.

Spend Compliance and Regulatory Compliance: 50 Shades of Pay (Part 19)

Regulatory compliance

In this latest installment of our six-part miniseries on spend compliance, we take a look at how spend data, and more importantly, process data related to the “process of spending” starting with sourcing into buying and paying, can give indications not only of regulatory non-compliance but also of policy non-compliance, as well as other risks that may exist even if not tied to a regulatory mandate or internal policy. So, spend data can highlight both reward and risk — and non-compliance, which is only one type of risk.

Signing on the (Electronic) Dotted Line: New Solutions Based on Technological Advancements

Join us this Thursday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. CDT, for the webinar, Digital and E-Signatures: Everything Procurement Needs to Know! Our own Thomas Kase, vice president of research at Spend Matters, will be joined by the Silanis team to provide serious value for business users.

Spend Compliance via Supplier Compliance: 50 Shades of Pay (Part 18)

Supplier compliance

In the previous three installments of our miniseries on spend compliance, we introduced an overall framework for spend compliance analytics and then dove into contract compliance, payment compliance, budget compliance and process compliance. In this edition, we’re diving into supplier compliance and how to unlock some latent value there. We’ll assume you’ve already done some basic spend analysis to identify when you’re paying different prices from the same supplier for the same item, but obviously supplier compliance runs deeper. How? Read on.

Contract Management Research: Let’s Talk About Risk

contract lifecycle management

When contracting, it's all about risk mitigation. Procurement organizations are searching for new and innovative ways to be efficient and effective in identifying and mitigating commercial risk. Enter contract management. Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, presents the research brief Contract Management: Understand How to Focus on the Right Thing, now available for download complimentary of Spend Matters. We take a look at Apple's supplier contracts to provide you with the takeaways on driving good performance within the confines of budget. Get your copy today!

From Tactics to Strategy in Supply Analytics: Your Tour Itinerary

supply analytics

Gather 'round, procurement scouts: We've just received the itinerary for your next adventure. Increasing spend visibility is the goal for any progressive procurement organization, as it directly leads to better management of supply. Enter Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, with the roadmap: Navigating the Path from Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics. Get your copy today!

How to Establish an SRM Program That Really Works

supply chain talent gap

How can procurement discourage dysfunctional corporate behavior and seize the opportunity to shift its supplier relationship management (SRM) focus from tactical savings to real cost reduction and obtain maximum value from the goods and services acquired? This question forms the core of a new series by Spend Matters UK/Europe on SRM, which has emerged in recent years as both a topical issue and a genuine priority for CPOs.

How I Spent Oktoberfest Going to School on German Procurement Practices

German procurement

A few weeks back, I had the good fortune to spend two days in Munich during a time that just happened to coincide with Oktoberfest. Of course, there was absolutely no relationship between the visit and the festivities at the time. And getting into a small “tent” — part of the activities with the Volksfest if you have the right friends — together with some colleagues from a startup in town was a complete coincidence as well. Or, that is what I tell my wife at least.

SIG Dispatch: Supplier Master Data Management on Steroids or ‘I Want to Pump Your ERP Up’


At the SIG summit yesterday, a large global manufacturer (that will go unnamed until we get permission) got up on stage and presented a long chapter from its procurement technology transformation effort and specifically, in detail, how vendor file/master data management (MDM) tied into it. The organization, which has grown both organically and through acquisition, has multiple ERP systems and “at least seven” different instances of SAP. We might call this a tale of supplier/vendor file MDM on steroids. But with apologies to Arnold, this is far more than just “pumping your ERP up.”

New Webinar Announcement: Advanced Case Studies to Optimize Your Catalog Management


Catalogs often get a bad rap, but the most progressive procurement organizations are using advanced smart catalogs to support complex category-specific requirements in the supply chain. These processes are replacing "old school" catalogs as a way to better engage stakeholders with more advanced approaches to preferred suppliers. Join Spend Matters and jCatalog for the webinar Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Advanced Case Studies in Smarter Catalog Management on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. CDT. Register now!