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How To Turn Supplier Management Into A Competitive Advantage

Wondering how you can get the most out of your supplier management? Then keep reading this post as we discuss supplier management and how to get the most out of it.

You must partner with a reliable and trustworthy supplier as a business owner. This can hugely impact the growth of your business. In the end, you can establish a solid relationship with the supplier. This is where supplier management becomes crucial. 

What is supplier management, and how can you turn it into a competitive advantage? Let’s find out.

What is supplier management?

The process of finding, acquiring, and effectively managing the resources and suppliers necessary for a business’s day-to-day operations is called supply management. Supply management involves purchasing physical commodities, data, services, and other vital resources that enable a business to continue and grow. Supplier management is the relationship between a buyer and a supplier, subject to goods or services being obtained and supplied into your organization, which in turn defines the type of working relationship you should look to develop with your suppliers. This relationship is subject to goods or services being obtained and supplied to your organization. Managing relationships with one’s suppliers is an essential trait for all managers involved in purchasing and supply.

Why does a business need supplier management?

When it comes to determining the reasons why businesses require supplier management, there are two primary pillars that you need to be aware of:

  1. To determine whether or not the performance of the suppliers meets the standards of the organization
  2. To find opportunities for improvement while engaging with suppliers throughout the lifecycle of their products.

These two elements are the primary drivers behind the necessity for businesses to have supplier management, which guarantees that they are obtaining the most value from the relevant suppliers for the requirement(s) at hand. Given the resources that have been spent on the relevant is essential to monitor and evaluate a provider’s performance to get the most out of their services. An organization may build a transparent relationship with its supplier if it communicates and provides feedback regularly. This makes it easier to identify areas of development and discover solutions promptly.

Additionally, supplier management can help reduce costs in numerous aspects of your contracts, such as early payment discounts and volume pricing. These cost savings can be realized. Altering your supply chain regularly results in indirect expenses, some of which might be far higher in magnitude than the monetary value.

How to build an effective supplier management system

Chances are that your company already has a supplier management system in place. But if the system is being managed by one person using a variety of manual and disconnected processes, then it’s not much of a system.

You need to implement modern supplier management systems that integrate automation and documentation and can operate without much human involvement. To build a modern and effective supplier management system and get the most out of it, it’s crucial to understand the whole supplier lifecycle. Here are the steps in supplier management:

Step 1: Qualification

Who is the right supplier for you, and why should you choose them? The qualification stage assures that you are hiring the most qualified supplier at the best price who can provide the essential goods and/or services you need. For the best results, it is best to evaluate potential suppliers using a set of criteria that is standardized.

Step 2: Onboarding

After you’ve decided on a new supplier, it’s time to add them to your system. Because the onboarding process is a two-way street, your company and the supplier must communicate information for it to succeed. Again, it is in everyone’s best interest for this procedure to be as standardized as possible.

To construct an effective workflow, you must digitize everything, including the onboarding process, by using online forms and electronic signatures. You will notice a reduction in the number of errors you receive due to this method. You will also be able to automate certain processes, such as sending email notifications in response to events such as approvals or signatures.

You can synchronize your criteria with the application process, which is an additional advantage of the type of workflow based on forms. This enables you to disqualify suppliers’ applications that do not satisfy your requirements, saving your company the time and effort of manually reviewing suppliers who are not a good fit for your business.

Step 3: Segmentation

Classifying suppliers is an essential component of the overall supplier lifecycle management process. It is the practice of classifying suppliers into distinct supplier quadrants according to a predetermined set of variables such as supply risk, total spend, the total cost of ownership (TCO), quality, profitability, and performance, amongst others.

Step 4: Collaboration

The supplier collaboration process prepares the way for the mutual development of suppliers and buyers through the development of new products and services and changes to existing processes. Companies who work closely with their suppliers see growth that is twice as quick as that of their competitors that neglect the importance of supplier collaboration.

Step 5: Evaluation

Evaluation of the suppliers is the very last step of supplier management. At this point, the supplier’s performance is evaluated and checked to see if they are adhering to the conditions of the contract. The evaluation is based on various variables, such as the time it takes to deliver the product, the price, the amount of production, the quality, the technical support, and the services. In addition, it is essential to evaluate the supplier according to his capacity to deal with unanticipated procurement emergencies.

Consider developing a supplier dashboard that can supply you with data in real time to assist you in reviewing the performance of your suppliers rather than performing manual evaluations of their work on an ad hoc basis. This will save you time.

April 6, 2023