The Supplier Management Category

Building the Business Case for Supplier Relationship Management Investment

category management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

Investing in enhanced supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities is frequently discussed within procurement organizations but not often executed. The immediate need to achieve annual savings targets and satisfy stakeholders often drives a focus on sourcing, with its easily demonstrable return on investment, at the expense of SRM. Yet the basic value derived from robust SRM includes incremental gains in traditional procurement focus areas, such as price improvement, and even greater value derives from more aspirational areas such as risk reduction and the promotion of innovation and supplier diversity.

HICX: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 1) — Updated Facts, Solution Footprint, Solution Enhancements and Competitive Landscape [PRO]

In our last deep dive analysis of HICX, a U.K.-based supply chain master data management technology firm, we noted that the provider delivered a unique set of supplier-centric MDM capabilities coupled with configurable workflow for buyers and suppliers. Our original HICX Vendor Snapshot series (see Part 1 and Part 2) still provides a useful foundation for those considering the MDM specialist as a shortlist candidate for supplier management.

For those evaluating HICX, we also recommend the latest Q1 2018 Supplier Management SolutionMap Insider coverage to understand how the provider compares in the supplier management and risk management market on a comparative basis.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides an refresh to our previous analysis of HICX. Part 1 provides updated key facts on HICX, a solution overview and a competitive landscape update. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insights, and summary recommendations on when to consider HICX as a top shortlist candidate for supplier management.

Supplier Management: When the User Experience Guides Functionality (Part 2) [PRO]

digital

When it comes to procurement and supplier management technology solutions, you can learn a lot when spending time looking both at and below the user interface surface of specific solutions. However, the user experience and underlying technology stack are increasingly interconnected — and coupled. Thus, separating the two from each other can be difficult.

This Spend Matters PRO series explores what separates best-of-breed supplier management vendors from the pack, with an emphasis both on the UI and underlying technology capabilities. Part 1 in our series explored messaging, chat and collaboration; guided survey and template creation; and leading functional elements that enable the uploading of templates and documents. In Part 2, we continue with an emphasis on exploring the intersection of functionality and usability.

Supplier Management: When the User Experience Guides Functionality (Part 1) [PRO]

tech

When it comes to supplier management technology, there seems to be a near universal playbook that most of the top technology providers follow for defining, capturing and managing supplier data. It’s not surprising, then, that when it comes to marketing such capabilities, there's essentially no differentiation at all. As a result, you'd be forgiven if you thought that many supplier management vendors sound interchangeable, despite claims of advanced master data management, metric tracking or portal superiority.

In practice, however, nothing could be further from the truth. As our latest Supplier Management SolutionMap indicates, there is significant differentiation among providers, and our PRO Vendor Snapshot reviews on providers such as Aravo, HICX and Lavante only further illustrate this point. But you need to dive deep to find the variation that counts — differentiation that only comes into play when you start unpacking the specific supplier information management, performance management, supplier portal, relationship management, initiative management, discovery, master data components and related capabilities of best-in-class providers.

The purpose of this series on supplier management functionality and user design is to, in effect, share the ingredients to the secret sauce we see in use today among both top performing providers and those making the recipe list for tomorrow’s supplier management menu. We kick off our series by first exploring messaging, chat and collaboration, guided survey and template creation, uploading of templates and documents, and simplified data creation and validation.

Why Relationship Management Will Be Critical to Procurement’s Cybersecurity Strategy

Cybersecurity was much more than a buzzword at ISM2018, as procurement professionals packed several related sessions earlier Tuesday to learn more about how they can build a defense against this intangible threat.

Throughout these presentations, a common theme emerged. Procurement may be facing numerous cyber risks as it expands its supply base complexity and adopts interconnected software systems, but it never does so alone. Rather, procurement sits at the nexus of a large number of actors who all have a stake in the security of their IT operations.

Why Supply Chain Finance Could Be the Key to Widespread Blockchain Adoption

Organizations are emerging from the hype phase for the technology and instead starting to take stock of whether they have the technical expertise and talent to actually use blockchain. To do that, they’ll need to know not only where blockchain could be applied in the supply chain but how exactly it works. Only then can procurement organizations begin to assess whether they’ll be ready to take the next adoption step with the technology.

This is the objective of a new study by CAPS Research of Arizona State University. During a presentation Monday at ISM2018, Dale Rogers and Thomas Choi took attendees through a detailed tour of blockchain, from its origins as a descendant of ERP systems to potential ways procurement can spur adoption of the technology using supply chain finance.

Forming a Strategic Partnership Program: What They Are and Why You Need One

change of control clauses

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Craig Laufer, vice president of strategic partnerships at Nielsen.

Are you tapped out on the value created by your standard supplier relationship management program? If so, you should really consider creating a strategic partnership program. A strategic partnership program is an initiative that aims to transform the relationships of your most strategic suppliers into true strategic partners. This goal is accomplished first and foremost by creating and nurturing great relationships with your strategic partners, ultimately leading to improved supplier relationships, increased influence on traditional procurement topics, and creation of business value outside of the typical buyer-seller relationship.   

Sourcemap and BRAC U to Launch a Digital Map of Every Garment Factory in Bangladesh

We were intrigued to learn recently about a project to create a digital factory map of Bangladesh, a joint effort from BRAC University, Sourcemap and the C&A Foundation. Officially called the Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh, the project is set to launch this summer. A team of data collectors from BRAC University and Sourcemap are currently visiting every garment factory in Bangladesh and gathering GPS-linked data points on workers, factory facilities, certifications, types of products manufactured at the factory, and companies that source from the factory.

From Talent to Category Management: 4 Critical Development Areas for Procurement

Cybersecurity and access to critical talent are the top worries on CPOs’ minds, according to a Hackett Group report, The CPO Agenda: Expanding Procurement’s Influence Through Change and Innovation. The importance of cybersecurity is compounded by the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25. In addition, cybersecurity and access to critical talent are also expected to be “high risk” in the near future by three quarters of procurement professionals who took part in The Hackett Group’s annual Key Issues Study.