Supplier Management: Collect This Data!

This post is based, in part, on Peter Smith’s paper: Putting the Supplier at the Heart of Procurement Thinking, a free download in the Spend Matters research library.

In Putting the Supplier at the Heart of Procurement Thinking, Spend Matters UK/Europe Managing Director Peter Smith presents a simplistic yet clever little segmentation around the types of data that are worth collecting in paying closer attention to your suppliers and supply chain risk. We feature this diagram below.

Supplier Management: Environmental, Social, Quality, Consumer and Regulatory Data Collection 


Within the environmental area, Peter suggests that organizations should focus on collecting information in such areas as emissions (Co2), sustainable materials (e.g., hardwoods), and energy and water usage. In the social arena, Peter highlights the management of information pertaining to supplier labor practices, health and safety, and conflict minerals. Quality and consumer data collection areas include product failures/recalls, supply chain traceability, and safety/quality standards. And last, for regulatory information, Peter notes general field types like compliance to government regulation and policies, government watch lists, and tax issues.

Peter’s segmentation is not perfectly MECE (mutually exclusive and clearly exhaustive). But it’s not a bad start. Here at Spend Matters in the US, we’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about the subject as well. It’s also important to note that companies are increasingly wanting to collect information not just for their tier one suppliers, but lower tier suppliers as well. Broad categories we use in the US when considering supplier management data collection include:

  • Finance/financial (TIN, OFAC, denied parties list, FCPA, etc.)
  • Risk (supplier financial risk)
  • Supplier diversity (MBWE, indigenous employees, etc.)
  • Environmental health safety (EHS or HSE) and corporate social responsibility
  • Product-level insights (based on bill of material (BOM), design drawing and related information.

Just within the EHS, CSR and product-level insights in compliance alone – not factoring in carbon emissions and green/product footprint type insights – we track the following regulation: Conflict Minerals (Dodd-Frank), EU RoHS/WEEE, EU RoHS version 2, RoHS variants (Calif, China, other), EU REACH, Toxic Substances Control Act, Canada Chemical Management Plan/Health Canada, Non-Government Org (NGO) lists (e.g. ChemSec SIN list), Stockholm Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPS), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), OSHA, EPA, German Ministry of Labor (MAK). And that’s not even close to being a complete list!

Download the full paper, Putting the Supplier at the Heart of Procurement Thinking, in the Spend Matters free research library. 

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