Supplier Management – our paper for OFS Portal available now

Our recent paper titled “Why Supplier Management should  be central to your procurement thinking” is available now  to download free, here from the OFS Portal website.

A reminder - OFS Portal works primarily in the upstream oil and gas industry and “is a group of diverse, worldwide suppliers working together with a non-profit objective to facilitate e-Commerce by guiding trading partners in best practices and to provide standardized electronic price sheets to B2B trading partners.  OFS Portal works with global standards organizations and trading partners to develop and improve open and royalty free e-Commerce data and business process standards in order to reduce costs to all participants in a technologically neutral manner”.

In the paper, we look at supplier management, why it is important and why it hasn’t always had the focus it deserves, in part because technology has often been designed with a P2P transactional focus,  rather than being supplier-centric. Here’s an excerpt from the final section of the paper;  “Conclusions – practical steps for procurement leaders and practitioners”.

“Whilst many professionals do understand how important suppliers are, we have seen that we are not yet at a point where software tools fully support an integrated 'supplier lifecycle management' approach. So smart organizations are using 'best of breed' solutions to address different key needs (risk management, onboarding, etc) and looking to integrate them where appropriate and possible to increase usability.

So we would suggest three key steps for procurement and supply chain professionals.

1.The first is encouraging a behavioral shift in their organizations in order to promote the view amongst all executives in the organization that suppliers are central to success and deserve to be treated as such. Suppliers are not a ‘necessary evil’; they are fundamental part of delivering the business and the future success of the firm.

2. The second recommendation is to look carefully at each key element within the supplier management picture. We have seen the importance of aspects such as onboarding suppliers, risk and performance management – is each one managed properly at the moment? If not, how can that be addressed? There may be a need to prioritize in terms of improvement opportunities, and if so, each organization needs to consider its own situation. But in our experience, the most pressing need within that wider supplier management picture is often in the fundamental areas of risk and performance management.

3. As well as ensuring each element is addressed, a more holistic, supplier lifecycle approach to supplier management should be considered. For instance, rather than looking for the perfect technology solution, which doesn’t exist, look for tools that can help in different areas and then consider how they can be integrated or linked to add value where appropriate”.

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