The Suppliers Category

More on Healthcare’s Saline Bag “Shortage”

The saline bag “shortage” in healthcare has been going on for a few years. I’ve got some strong opinions on the matter, as I have had the pleasure of interviewing the assigned category managers at the nation’s largest healthcare GPOs, health system sourcing professionals and executives at Baxter, B.Braun and Hospira, the nation’s three largest manufacturers and suppliers of the product. It turns out that there are very few resin producers that make the type and grade used to manufacture saline bags. Not only did these producers cut production, but they’ve increased their pricing by more than 300% in the last year. Why?

Supplier Onboarding: Implementation Tips and Key Recommendations (Part 3) [Plus+]

So far in our PRO series exploring the nuances of setting up a supplier onboarding program we’ve delved into many specific steps and elements necessary to implement an effective process. Yet achieving a level of program certainty around these recommendations and plans is not realistic prior to engaging with a solution provider – unless you are prepared to pay separately for the provider to go through the scoping and delivery documentation as an independent engagement (which can be a smart approach, and probably something that you can get at least partial credit for if you award the solution business later on).

What is Your Supplier Management (SXM) Persona? Understand Your Requirements to Find the Best Technology Provider [PRO]

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No two procurement, finance, supply chain or IT organizations are alike. Each has its own persona that reflects not only its own unique requirements but also the stakeholders it serves.

The same principle holds true when analyzing supplier management solutions. Each provider has a persona — or set of personas — that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments. Therefore, procurement organizations should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. In other words, there is no “magic” solution provider, and finding the right fit is essential, because supplier management applications are critical for not only identifying savings opportunities but also the effective management of the procurement function.

SolutionMap depicts vendor rankings based on specific buyer personas to reflect the unique value proposition, solution strategy and customer segments served by a vendor. Participating vendors are scored both on their Solution capability as well as on Customer Value, based on in-depth tech reviews (including live demos) by the Spend Matters analyst team and aggregated direct customer input from surveys. Each SolutionMap is updated quarterly rather than in 12-month (or longer) cycles, to accurately reflect the pace of market developments.

As part of our Spend Matters SolutionMap vendor comparison ranking for supplier management and other strategic procurement technologies, the Spend Matters analyst team has dedicated considerable time to developing the unique organizational personas that we’ve most often seen in our decades of experience working with procurement organizations.

We have used these personas to weight the requirements used in solution scoring, which includes customer satisfaction scoring by solution customers. Having collected feedback from hundreds of procurement organizations in recent months as part of our SolutionMap research, we see these personas as useful starting points for procurement organizations to classify themselves before looking at solution rankings of providers in the market.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis shares five of the most common customer personas for supplier management buying requirements. Aimed at practitioners as well as vendors and the consultants advising them, this research brief will be helpful to drive the type of mass customization of strategic procurement technology solutions needed to meet specific organizational needs.

Below, we present our five personas for supplier management. For each, we include full definitions, typical organizational priorities (based on each persona), functional/solution and customer value emphasis, and recommended selection processes.

Supplier Onboarding: Defining and Setting a Strategy (Part 1) [Plus+]

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The sourcing exercise is over, and you've found a great new supplier. You've vetted, scrubbed and polished throughout your diligent sourcing process. The contracting has just concluded, and the new contract still smells of fresh ink. The savings look great, so you toss everything over the fence to the vendor management team and accounts payable to get it sorted out so users can start saving money. A month later, you meet the new supplier and find out that no new business has been awarded to them, and that they are still being held up in the onboarding process. So, what is this onboarding process, and how can it be improved? That is the topic of this three-part Spend Matters Plus series.

Vendor Summary Report: Supplier Management SolutionMap℠ Q4 2017 [PRO]

supplier network

This SolutionMapSM analyzes a select group of supplier management (SXM) providers. It includes coverage of supplier information management (SIM), supplier master data management (MDM), supplier performance management and broader initiative management (e.g., risk, third-party management) capabilities. It is part of our Q4 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers. Our Q4 2017 also features SolutionMaps for procure-to-pay and strategic procurement technology suites.

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 supplier management solution providers today. This analysis features many of the largest supplier management providers, including BravoSolution, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Lavante (PRGX), Hiperos 3PM (Opus Global), Jaggaer, Jaggaer Direct (formerly Pool4Tool), SAP Ariba, State of Flux and Zycus. Among these providers it features select industry/specialty capability of providers, although it does not highlight them in a specific persona, a change from our last SolutionMap release.

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a Solution perspective and Customer Value perspective.

Dive deeper with our full analysis.

Supplier Diversity Meets Supply Management: A Roadmap for Success (Part 4) [Plus+]

As we conclude our initial series on creating a roadmap for success with supplier diversity initiatives (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), we come to a handful of final, in many cases tactical, recommendations that can make or break program success. These are the “school of hard knocks” lessons focused on supplier diversity data management that we encourage our readers to take to heart, learning from the mistakes of others (including us) as we’ve helped to rollout and manage these programs over the years for dozens of organizations.

Supplier Diversity Meets Supply Management: A Roadmap for Success (Part 3) [Plus+]

Perhaps the most important element that supplier diversity professionals should incorporate into their program management efforts is how to constantly incorporate general procurement efforts within their own. Working with general procurement should be the top priority for diversity teams. All too often, the trap for supplier diversity professionals is to lead a silo-based activity with few touch-points with general procurement.

Can the Latest Supplier Relationship Management Tools Deliver the Clinically Integrated Supply Chain?

On healthcare’s supply side, you’ll meet some of the most sophisticated procurement practitioners you’ll find across industry. On the buy side, talking specifically now about acute care providers, however, you have a group that has carried the reputation of “laggard” for as long as anyone has paid attention.

Nothing New Under the Sun: Taking an Advanced Approach to Supplier Diversity

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Growing up I remember hearing two phrases constantly: “There is nothing new under the sun” and “Numbers never lie.” Both statements I have found to be half-truths. Try telling dinosaurs, phone booths or the former milkman that nothing ever changes. People, things, ideas — all evolve. The time has come for supplier diversity to evolve, as well.

Supplier Diversity Meets Supply Management: A Roadmap for Success (Part 2) [Plus+]

For outcomes, whether you get preferred delivery, higher quality, better post-sales support, more favorable warranties or better pricing based on prompt payments as a result of getting diverse suppliers paid faster than the norm, it is important to consider the need to engage the broader finance organization (e.g., AP) and even other functions to implement a program successfully. And try to broaden your vision and go outside the standard procurement playbook in the process.

Supplier Diversity Meets Supply Management: A Roadmap for Success (Part 1) [Plus+]

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There are few areas within the walls of corporate America that stir up emotions and opinions like supplier diversity. Regardless of where you stand regarding supplier diversity programs and how supplier diversity can be done right — because it can definitely be done poorly, even catastrophically so — this research brief is meant to serve as a general primer for procurement professionals needing to bring supplier diversity into their daily activities across the supply management function. We also hope it will prove useful for newly appointed supplier diversity managers and for senior procurement managers and corporate directors wanting to understand how supplier diversity fits in with their business, day to day and strategically. Our intention is to help you make the business case not just for greater investment in diversity programs but for the right programs to begin with. 

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SRM Unplugged: Expert Answers to 8 Burning Questions

Leading procurement organizations today know that investing in supplier relationship management pays real dividends for the enterprise. But knowing a practice is beneficial and knowing how to implement it are entirely different things. To help take SRM from theory to practice, we teamed up with David Atkinson, distinguished procurement leader and Managing Director, Four Pillars Consulting, who answered these top real-world questions on SRM during a recent webinar: “Supplier Relationship and Value Management: The Five Programme Killers and How to Overcome Them.”