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Supplier Management

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 11-19, Electrolux to Honda [Plus +]

finger sliding innovation ticker

This is the second installment of our supplier innovation case study series where we help answer the question, “What are other procurement organizations doing in supplier innovation”? We’ve curated a “Top 50” list of some of the best case studies highlighting supplier innovation from a select group of major firms. We looked at the innovations in question, the results, the related suppliers (if disclosed), and some key takeaway lessons. In Part One, we highlighted how Apple and TSMC teamed up to provide more cutting-edge technology in the iPhone; how Campbell Soup Company lightened their shipment load; and how Dell leverages an all-important C-word, communication, to learn directly from their customers how to best work with suppliers. In this installment, we’ll look at Electrolux, Eli Lilly, Ford, General Mills, Honda and more.

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 1-10, Apple Inc. to Diageo [Plus +]

Business team standing against window with leader in front

Here at Spend Matters, we try to provide procurement practitioners with not only some of the latest insights, analysis, and opinions on everything ‘buy-side’, but also with some time-saving strategies, techniques, and tools they can use to increase efficiency and add more value. One of the questions we often get from more advanced procurement organizations is “what are other procurement organizations doing in [more strategic areas such as] supplier innovation”? For those of you who have the same question (and related sub-questions), but don’t have the money to pay for a high-end peer networking group, we’ve decided to do some legwork for you and curate a “Top 50” list of some of the best case studies highlighting supplier innovation from a select group of major firms (and not just P&G!). We broke down each case study by firm, the supplier(s) at play, the innovation in question, the summarized results of the study, and key takeaway lessons. Each Plus installment in the series spotlights case studies on 10 firms, and in our kickoff we look at Apple, Boeing, Campbell Soup, Dell and more. Let’s begin...

Defining Your Solution Approach: Supplier Management 101 (Part 3) [Plus +]

supplier management

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced supplier management from a process and methodology standpoint before mapping it to various solution areas that are out in the marketplace. Supplier management often is called SLM because of its lifecycle focus, which spans initial analysis (analysis and opportunity identification), planning (sourcing), negotiation (contract management) and execution (performance), and closes the process loop by leading back to the analysis phase of the strategic sourcing cycle as a result of future opportunity identification. Third-party management (3PM), which deals with non-suppliers that are also critical to your organization — such as government agencies, third-party logistics, partners and (media) agencies — is simply the application of the appropriate finely-tuned subset of supplier management capabilities to the third party that needs to be managed for organizational success. And, of course, you also need good supplier information. In this installment we cover what is in scope from a process and information standpoint before mapping to solution categories that are available in the market.

LeanLinking: Bringing Supplier Management and Performance Tracking to the Masses [PRO]


LeanLinking is a three-year-old Danish company in the supplier management and performance management sector, what it describes as supplier relationship management (SRM). In bringing a low-cost SRM solution to market — both from a cost and also implementation perspective — and making it accessible to companies without a formal supplier development or risk management program in place already, LeanLinking had to make numerous decisions around usability, integration and perhaps most important, the guidance of users to adopt specific best practices for (primarily) middle market companies to manage their supply base. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to LeanLinking and offers a succinct background on the company, its solutions, competitive models/substitutes, strengths, opportunities and our recommended fit (characteristics) of procurement organizations most likely to get the most from adopting it.

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!

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!

Hot Off the Press Research: Optimal Prioritization in Contract Management

spend compliance

Brand new research is now available from the Spend Matters team! Contract Management: Understand How to Focus on the Right Thing, by Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, takes a look at Apple's supplier contracts to highlight what are the best aspects of the contract to hone in on. Get your complimentary copy today!

Contract Lifecycle Management Part 8: The Importance of Being Earnest Integrated [Plus +]


So far in this Plus series on contract lifecycle management, we’ve largely ignored the commercial performance management aspects that CLM also needs to support. We’re talking about the strategic aspects, the organizational aspects and even, to some extent, the performance and obligation management aspects from an organizational point of view, as opposed to a contract point of view. That’s why in this post we're going to discuss integration with sourcing, supplier relationship management (SRM) and governance risk compliance (GRC) platforms, as these integrations are often needed to support global end-to-end supply management processes and global trade systems.

Understanding and Excelling at Evaluating Bids and Tenders: A Vital Role of Procurement [Plus +]

spend compliance

Choosing the best suppliers is a major part of procurement’s role in a business. However, according to Peter Smith, chief research officer and managing director of Spend Matters UK and Public Spend Matters Europe, too few procurement professionals take this responsibility as seriously as they should. In one of our most popular webinars, Ask the Expert: Evaluating Bids and Tenders, Peter focuses on this complex and challenging procurement role. Spend Matters Plus and PRO can view the full recording in this post. It's a great opportunity for procurement executives and other members of a procurement organization to be reminded how best to go about selecting a supplier and securing a contract, and it serves as a refresher as to why this process is so important for a business.

Building Trust With Your Suppliers: A Must for Effective Contract Management [Plus +]

contract lifecycle management

Relationships take work, and building trust is an important part of any relationship. This is true, too, when it comes to suppliers and buyers. Can you trust your suppliers to adhere to the terms of the contract? What does it take to reach this level of trust? To help practitioners form ideal relationships with their suppliers, Spend Matters brings you another one of its most popular Ask the Expert webinars of all time on this Flashback Friday. Back in April 2014, Peter Smith, chief research officer and managing director of Spend Matters UK and Public Spend Matters Europe, led the webinar, Trust or Track the Supplier – Contract Management Dilemmas. In it, Peter asks, “Do we trust our supplier or do we carefully track their performance?” The answer: It’s a bit of both. “Trust has to be earned,” as Peter points out.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 4 – The Traditional Solutions [Plus +]

Traditional tools

So far in our contract lifecycle management (CLM) series, we have discussed how the process can generate truly exceptional results when implemented correctly, and we have introduced a “wheel” framework that defined the processes and requirements for a core platform needed to support the end-to-end contract lifecycle in a modern supply management organization. In our last post, we provided a review of the solution space in an effort to understand what types of solutions were historically required in support of the CLM process. This understanding is important because no current solution supports the full CLM process well – as defined in our framework – on the buy-side and within a broader enterprise context. In this post, we will map each of the relevant components included in core buy-side technologies to the CLM framework because it helps one understand not only how these solutions support CLM, but how a specific CLM tool often needs to hook into this technology.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 3 – Mapping the Upstream and Downstream Contract Phases [Plus +]

supply analytics

So far in this series, we have introduced contract lifecycle management (CLM) – a process that is not only the key to procurement success, but the key to organizational success. We also have introduced the CLM platform model that provides the foundation for end-to-end CLM, which we will be discussing in more depth in this series. At a high-level, this consisted of the contract information management (CIM) repository, the core contract process/workflow management capabilities and 4 key aspects of (commercial) performance management that the CLM platform must support. This is a great start toward a definition of CLM, and the platform to support it, but we find that in order to fully understand what a CLM solution is in our context, we first have to map the solution space by defining the relevant process areas (i.e., pre-contract upstream and post-contract downstream) and then map them to the applicable software functionality areas that make sense for those processes.