Spend Matters Papers: Supplier Lifecycle Management

So here’s a plan - through August we’re going to highlight all the research papers, briefings and so on that we’ve produced in the last two and a half years. We’ll  include what we said when we first launched it, and of course the link so you can download – free on registration. Why not use the quiet time in August to brush up on some procurement thinking? And they haven’t dated, in our opinion.

Today we have  Supplier Lifecycle Management: Reduce Risk, Improve Performance and drive Supplier Value. Here’s what we said when we launched it back in January 2012.

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We’re pleased to launch another Spend Matters UK/ Europe Research Paper, this one titled, “Supplier Lifecycle Management: Reduce risk, Improve Performance and drive Supplier Value”.

In it, we look at the concept of Supplier Lifecycle Management, which works from the premise that the supplier should be considered as central to procurement activities and processes.

Whilst that may seem almost obvious, it is surprising how few organisations really think like that when you come to look at it. The Paper describes the concept, and looks at how it varies from other ideas such as Supplier Relationship Management. It also lays out the benefits that can be gained by following this approach – we think it’s an important concept for every procurement person to consider.

We’ll feature some of the main points from the Paper over the next couple of weeks, but to whet your appetite, here’s a sample from the introduction.

“The performance of a supplier has a huge impact on an organisation’s success and will ultimately determine how the procurement function and its leadership will be regarded by the business. A supplier who provides an excellent product and service can provide real value – regardless of the quality of the sourcing process or contract, but a brilliant category management process and best practice contract will amount to nothing if the supplier simply fails to perform.

Risk of supplier failure or supply-chain failure should also be of vital interest to procurement. Whether driven by natural disasters, economic or political developments, or regulatory and compliance issues in the supply-chain, its importance is growing by the day.

Some organisations also face the issue that their suppliers have become so integrated into the delivery of the end product that they are indistinguishable from the customers’ perspective representing a source of brand and reputational risk.

That‘s why choosing the best supplier and then managing them in a joined-up, integrated and consistent manner throughout their life as a supplier should be at the very heart of everything procurement professionals do and care about.

This seems sensible, although we often see a paradox; Procurement executives will often complain that their own organisations do not fully appreciate the importance of suppliers and their contribution to business success, yet it is clear that those same executives do not reflect this importance in the way they and their procurement functions think, organise and work”.

You can download the Paper here- free on registration.

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