SRM with Guy Allen at the BravoSolution Real World Sourcing briefing

At last week’s latest BravoSolution Real World Sourcing series expert briefing,  Guy Allen took the lead on Supplier Relationship Management (SRM to its friends). He started by saying that he’d wanted to define it – but the more he’d thought about it, the more he had come to the conclusion that it meant something different for every organisation. But that suggested a vital point. You need to go into it with a clear view of what it is you want to get out of it.

He used his experience as the Fujitsu CPO to give some excellent example of how that firm implemented an SRM type programme to drive real benefits. Now Fujitsu are an interesting case because in much of their work, they are the outsourced service provider and are acting in a sense as the buyer on behalf of their client. So getting the best value from their supply chain means Fujitsu are more likely to win or retain business with their own clients.

Allen introduced a scheme that majored on strong performance measurement and management of suppliers. That was re-inforced by top management buy-in, and the judicious use of a supplier awards scheme. Now I used to be a bit cynical about such schemes, but something Allen said flicked the proverbial light switch in my head.

“You might not be the biggest overall customer to a particular supplier, but you’re always important to your account manager / sales manager in the supplying firm”.

That’s very true, when you think about it, and you can make good use of that. If you can make your account manager a hero, as Allen puts it, you’re more likely to get benefits in return. Allen realised this when he saw just what getting the Fujitsu supplier trophy meant to people – “even though it wasn’t really a very attractive object” as he put it!

Anyway, you can see the slides from the event here, and remember you can take the quiz (even if you didn’t attend the event) and aim towards a place at the end of year ”top ten” dinner for the best results, and the £2500 BravoSolution bursary for the overall winner.

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