Category Archives: Suppliers

NEW Webinar: When Sourcing Meets Supplier Relationships in Retail and Grocery


It's not just about managing long-term supplier relationships anymore. It's about challenging them to get the most out of those suppliers over the long haul. Join us as we identify the general trends seen in retail and grocery procurement both today and in the future, and what cost containment strategies can be employed to maximize value and stakeholder-buy-in. Balancing the Carrot and Stick in a Hyper Competitive Cost Environment: Sourcing Meets Supplier Relationships in Retail and Grocery will take place Thursday, Feb. 25, at 12 p.m. CST.

Supplier Risk and Compliance as a Managed Service: Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

The rise of managed services is expanding the pie for supplier management, enabling procurement, finance and supply chain organizations to benefit from supplier information and to drive compliance without having to think about software, supplier enablement or direct licensing agreements with individual providers themselves. Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) is one such provider taking a managed services approach to supplier compliance and management in a manner that can be cost neutral from the start to procurement. As our Spend Matters PRO analysis of GRMS continues (see the first installment in this series here), we offer perspective on how GRMS’ capabilities compare to and complement supplier management technology platforms and other providers, as well as general strengths, weaknesses and recommendations that potential users of this supplier risk management and compliance managed service should be aware of. We also provide perspectives on the business needs of organizations that are most likely to be a good fit for GRMS, a provider that as of January 2016, had more than 225 customers.

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS): Supplier Onboarding, Risk and Compliance as a Managed Service

Global Risk Management Solutions

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS), a managed services provider (MSP), has carved out a valuable niche targeting procurement organizations that want maximum assurance that the suppliers they are doing business with truly are who they say they are — and that they meet customized requirements for doing business with the company in question. Complementing other supplier management tools and source-to-pay suites as well as specialized supply chain risk management solutions, GRMS focuses on areas of supplier compliance that many organizations shortchange on an ongoing basis. Fueled by a supplier-funded revenue model and an outsourced data aggregation and validation service that is global in scope, spanning onboarding, regulatory compliance, environmental health and safety, risk management, diversity data and more, GRMS has kept the financial and business process adoption barriers to their offering low for procurement organizations. This two-part Spend Matters PRO Research brief provides an overview of the GRMS managed service compliance solution and how it can complement related supplier management, compliance and risk technologies (e.g., Hiperos/Opus Global, Aravo, Lavante, HICX, Ariba/SAP, SciQuest, Emptoris/IBM, Ivalua, Zycus, GEP, riskmethods, Resilinc) and information providers (e.g., D&B, BvD, Ecovadis) – as well as the overlap it has with other supplier management managed services providers like Achilles, Browz, PICS Auditing, Deloitte and Helios.

What Toyota’s Latest Supply Risk Event Teaches Us

Toyota supply chain

Toyota's supply chain is much revered for its lean Toyota Production System that it deploys internally and at its suppliers. It does help drive out waste and improve product quality. Yet it’s “necessary but not sufficient” in running an end-to-end supply chain. This was evidenced by several recent events. Most recently, Toyota faced the threat of production line shutdowns in Japan due to a fire at an Aichi Corp. steel plant, which, given the incident occurred back on Jan. 8, makes the potential shutdown all the more shocking to hear.

Report: Procurement Must Work with Suppliers to Address Climate Risks

climate change

Procurement organizations need to motivate suppliers to understand the impact they are having on climate change and properly manage climate-related risks, according to a new report from the nonprofits CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, and BSR. Companies should be using their “purchasing power” to create a more sustainable supply chain, the report said. CDP has 75 organizations as members with $2 trillion of procurement spend. These organizations reached out to their suppliers through CDP to see which suppliers gather climate data to assess environmental footprints.

Contingent Workforce Procurement, Supplier Diversity Programs, and Inclusiveness at VMSA Live

supplier diversity

VMSA Live, which will be held Feb. 8–11 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, brings together and sets in motion all the parts of the contingent workforce supply chain in an intimate setting designed for interaction and practical learning. “Inclusiveness” is one of key principles that defines this conference. Inclusion can occur in a variety of settings, but one important manifestation is diversity supplier programs, a topic that will be featured this year at VMSA Live.

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.

Supply Chain CSR: Niche or More? EcoVadis Adds 68 Customers in 2015

sustainable supply chain

Sustainable supply management solutions company EcoVadis announced it experienced another solid year of growth in 2015, adding new customers and expanding its internal team. The company said 68 new customers joined the EcoVadis network in 2015. More than 25 global corporations began using the EcoVadis Sustainable Procurement platform, including DuPont and Subway, which contributed to EcoVadis’ two-year growth rate of 128%.

Procurious and SpendLead: Social Collaboration is Finally Taking Off in Procurement

social collaboration

Over the past few weeks, I’ve caught up with two upstart players specializing in the social collaboration sector for procurement. These two providers could not be more different. One, Procurious, is very much a private Facebook/LinkedIn-type model for procurement practitioners to network with themselves and share ideas, practices and more. The other, SpendLead, is centered on managing new types of supplier information and driving procurement interaction with a firm’s current and potential suppliers, as well as and supplier interaction with current and potential buyers.

Hoverboard Company Swagway Allegedly Makes False Safety Claims


Hoverboard maker Swagway is allegedly putting counterfeit safety marks on its products. Underwriters Laboratories, an independent safety science company that reviews products to determine if they are safe for consumers, said Swagway put its UL safety marks on its hoverboard, but UL has never inspected or certified any hoverboards. Swagway said it uses battery cells and adapters that have been certified by UL. However, according to UL, that does not grant Swagway the right to use the UL safety mark on its product.