Next Generation Supplier Management – All You Need To Know!

Last week at the BravoSolution Real World Procurement session the topic was Next Generation Supplier Management. We had a record attendance, with an interesting mix of public and private sector folk, and both procurement professionals and people involved in supplier management programmes from outside the core procurement function.  Thanks to everyone who came – we had some very good questions and discussion as well. Should category managers be responsible for SRM or is it a different role was one very good question – we may come back to that in a separate article.

We were also lucky to have David Atkinson with us, and we got him to answer some of the questions too! If you haven’t read his articles on SRM for Spend Matters, you really should; he has thought deeply about the topic as well as having considerable real-world experience too. Try here, and there are links in that article to more of his work.

Back to the session: in the first part, we started with a few definitions. What is the difference between contract management and supplier management? Supplier management and supplier relationship management?  Not particularly thrilling but we think it is important that we have a common understanding of what we’re talking about.

We then moved onto looking at why we bother with supplier management. The simple answer is value. We look to gain more benefits and exploit opportunities through working with suppliers, often above and beyond the basic terms of the stated contract – for instance, in capturing supply side innovation. We also look to manage, reduce and mitigate supplier related risk effectively.

The heart of the session was looking forward and more speculative as we considered five ideas or principles that we think will define next-generation supplier management. The principles are:




Real-time and open data-driven

Innovative and innovation focused

We looked at each of those in more detail; we won’t go into that now, but if you would like to see or hear more about our thoughts, then you have a couple of options.

  1. You can get the slides from the session via this link. Remember, BravoSolution offer £2500 to spend on training and development to the individual who scores the best on the quiz that you can access for each of the six sessions through the year. You need to attend at least 3 live sessions but you can take the quiz form this one even if you did not attend the live session. The top ten entrants also get invited to the end of year dinner at a very nice restaurant!
  1. We have a webinar during which I will be talking about this topic on October 5th at 11am and repeated at 4pm UK time. 20 minutes or so of me summarising this session really, then time for some insightful questions and discussion I’m sure. Book here…

Finally, remember the next session in this Real World Procurement series is not far away. On October 12th in London Guy Allen will be talking about Nurturing Procurement Talent in the Millennial Era. We’ll tell you a bit more about that later this week but you can book here – remember, there is a 50% discount for CIPs members too.

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