The Suppliers Category

Procurement Value Drivers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from María Cecilia Siqueira, of GEP.

Formerly known as a tool for cost reduction, procurement is now changing the business game. The market’s fast pace and global competition has forced some critical transitions in companies’ structure, strategy and execution. As Klaus Schwab, chairman of World Economic Forum, puts it, “Nowadays, it is no longer the big fish that eats the small fish — it is the fast fish the eats the slow one.”

Fashion Transparency Index 2017 Released: How Do Your Favorite Brands Rank?

Adidas and Reebok scored the highest and Dior, L.L. Bean and Forever 21 scored among the lowest in this year’s Fashion Transparency Index. The report was released last Monday, the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse. Just in its second year, the Fashion Transparency Index ranks 100 of the biggest global fashion and apparel brands based on how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies, and social and environmental consequences. The methodology was developed with input from a group of more than 20 industry experts and academics.

2 Strategic Ways to Improve Supplier Relationship Management

suppliers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dr. Muddassir Ahmed, divisional supply chain manager at Eaton.

Whether we like it or not, whether we want to say that out loud or not, buyers and suppliers primarily indulge in exchange relationships in order to satisfy their desire for money and to benefit their businesses or organizations. So when buyers and suppliers think about supplier relationship management or ways in which they conduct exchange relationships, they must focus on a share of value appropriated by both sides in the relationship.

Why Supplier Value Management, and Why Now? (Part 1): The Top 3 Areas to Focus On

funding

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Bill King, customer account director at BravoSolution. 

In a world of uncertainty, struggles to hit your numbers and declining savings for sourcing events, it’s time to try something different. Well, it’s not that different. The practice has been around for over a decade. Most companies, however, haven’t quite yet embraced supplier value management (SVM) as a strategy to increase savings, reduce cost and build supplier relationships.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: The Ariba Network Today and Tomorrow (Part 1) — Past and Present

The future of the Ariba Network is arguably the future of SAP Ariba. As more content, intelligence and capability shifts into not just the cloud but the space between companies, network and platform-based connectivity will become increasingly important for procurement and suppliers alike. Connectivity is even now forming the basis of competition in the procure-to-pay market, with SAP Ariba competitors like Tradeshift making the argument to potential customers that the platform matters as much — or more — than application capability alone. In a series of posts this week, we’ll tackle the past, present and future of the Ariba Network, as well as the SAP Ariba platform.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: Does Supplier Diversity Have a New Visionary?

supplier diversity

SAP Ariba and ConnXus announced a new partnership Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE. ConnXus is one of the last remaining independent supplier diversity vendors with any scale, although still a small firm itself. There are only a few hundred people in the procurement industry who have tracked the market for supplier diversity databases and software solutions over the years and know it well. Those familiar with this area know that the road to tapping supplier innovation and managing diversity spend through these tools has been paved with the great intentions of vendors that somehow got sidetracked along the way.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Buyer/Supplier Match!

Matchmaking is an age-old practice. And as Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava will tell you, it’s a tough world out there when it comes to traditional matchmaking. The same goes for buyers and suppliers in the marketplace. Just as matchmakers once met with mothers and fathers to match their daughters to prospective husbands, businesses used to pound the pavement trying to find prospective clients, buyers, suppliers and anyone who would take a business card and put it in their pocket full of loose change and car keys.

Hackett Research Proves Supplier Diversity is More Than Just About “Getting the Warm Fuzzies”

supplier diversity

Companies putting time and money into supplier diversity programs experience no loss in efficiency, according to new research from The Hackett Group. Hackett’s 2017 Supplier Diversity Study found that nearly all diverse suppliers meet or exceed expectations and in fact bring additional benefits such as new revenue opportunities. These new findings dispute executive assumptions that pursuing supplier diversity initiatives will divert attention from other strategic activities.

ClientLoyalty: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

ClientLoyalty competes in what we could most accurately describe as a “sub-sub” segment of the supplier management market. Usually such niches relegate solution providers to a small corner of market obscurity, often to build profitable businesses that go unnoticed by most. But there is actually a real potential market in what ClientLoyalty is attempting to create alongside a select number of other technology providers also focused on the management of strategic supplier relationships: a market for a true supplier relationship management solution.

While there are many solutions today that address supplier information management (SIM) and also supplier performance management (SPM), only a handful actually focus on supplier relationship management — which we are hesitant to call SRM, because the term was usurped by ERP years ago and given an entirely different meaning. ClientLoyalty is one of the few, avenging the “SAP SRM” and “Peoplesoft SRM” product names that did such an original disservice to what SRM is really about. (Hint: It’s not e-procurement!)

This final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering ClientLoyalty offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other supplier management providers for shortlist consideration. It also includes a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provided a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider ClientLoyalty.

Using Social Media to Improve Procurement Performance: Exploring Emerging Research

LinkedIn ProFinder

When it comes to the intersection of social media and procurement, we’re all interested in how to use it effectively, whether it’s to improve our relationships, our jobs or both. Yet at times, the magic of its use can seem elusive. More and more public-facing platforms (the Facebooks, Twitters, Snapchats) and private/collaborative ones (the Procuriouses...Procurii?) seem to crop up every day, but where to start? to start? Dr. Frank Rozemeijer and Dr. Lieven Quintens of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and Jonas Heller, a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales’ Business School in Australia, have set out to explore just that.

Rapid Ratings: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

In the beginning of this Rapid Ratings Vendor Snapshot, the initial framework we incorporated showed how a supplier’s financial health was the keystone of broader risks in the supply chain. In other words, assurance of a supplier’s ability to deliver with consistency and quality requires assurance of a healthy supplier. To ascertain the financial health of the supplier, you can monitor its public financial data from Bloomberg or other external sources. This can be valuable if you know how to operationalize the information and can do it in a scalable and replicable way for many suppliers, over time.

But this doesn’t account for financial data from privately held companies that, for most corporations, account for 70%–80% of their strategic/critical suppliers. Such data on this group of suppliers is generally sparse, sometimes difficult to interpret, often unreliable for prediction and challenging to benchmark against peer firms. This is why Rapid Ratings’ approach to assessing supplier financial health (especially for this group) is attractive and unique. RapidRating’s FHR® (Financial Health Rating) is a focused and cost-effective supply risk monitoring solution that creates a forward-looking assessment of financial viability for the dozens or hundreds of key suppliers an organization may have — privately held or otherwise.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Rapid Ratings’ strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

What is Supplier Management? Here’s a Primer

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This may seem like a ridiculously simple question whose answer comes embedded in the term itself (“Managing suppliers!”), but it can be tricky. Supplier management is a broad term, and it has become ever broader in its evolution from a post-contract area to include also strategy and planning and other pre-contract activities. In other words, supplier management has become supplier lifecycle management. But to nail down a pithy definition for supplier management, it is “simply the management of supplier-facing business processes throughout the lifecycle of a supplier,” as Spend Matters analysts Michael Lamoureux and Pierre Mitchell put it in their Supplier Management 101 series.