I was going to wait until Jason posted the follow-up to this post before doing my post (as I did meet with them last month), but Tim’s post on Do You Know Who Your Suppliers Are? has provided me with perfect timing.
In his post? Tim asks:
- How clean or accurate is your company’s vendor master?
- When was the last time it was updated?
- Does it provide complete and detailed insight into supplier capabilities, health, and performance?
- And how many vendor masters does your company use?
Tim then stated that if you wavered on any of these questions, you are not alone and that if you didn’t, you’re probably lying to yourself. He ended his post by stating that effectively selecting and managing suppliers in today’s fast-paced and global supply chain, requires a more accurate, current, and holistic view of suppliers – from basic contract information to capabilities and attributes to active contracts and performance data. It also requires a new approach to gathering and maintaining the supplier record … and this new approach can best be described as Supplier Information Management.
I’m sure Tim will allude to the benefits of Procuri‘s Supplier Management solution, and it’s a good start (and you could include Emptoris‘ Supplier Performance Management in this catgegory, for example), but if you really want a supplier information management solution that will allow you to shout an emphatic yes to the above questions and
- Let you query how many suppliers you are actively sourcing from at any time.
- Let you query what parts you’re sourcing from any supplier at any time.
- Let you query whether or not you have current copies of compliance and insurance certificates for any supplier that requires them at any time.
- Let you query which suppliers are carbon neutral at any time.
then you want the solution the big guys use, which include Oracle and Google, and that’s Aravo. One of the pioneers of Supplier Information Management (having just released their 4.0 version this year, as noted in my March post), Aravo has been building, extending, and revamping their solution from a simple central supplier information repository that tracks everything you ever needed – and wanted – to know about your supplier to a solution that lets you not only proactively manage your suppliers but proactively manage your supplier initiatives – including your Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
Despite having an industry leading solution, Aravo has not really received their fair share of press. This is probably due to the fact that information management is not sexy. E-procurement is sexy – the ability to automatically receive invoices, match to purchase orders and receipts, and automatically make payments when everything in line is sexy – it’s fast, efficient, and saves you money. E-sourcing is sexy – the ability to streamline everything from the initial RFI through the final award in an open format over the web with your suppliers half-way around the world and get it done faster, quicker, better, cheaper is sexy. Managing your virtual file cabinets – that’s not sexy.
However, what the media has overlooked is that in today’s corporate environment, the trend is moving to sustainability and social responsibility – and this is just not something you can keep on top of if your virtual filing cabinets are in general disarray. So even though Aravo’s solution may not sound sexy, what you need to realize is that what Aravo’s solution enables is sexy.
With their new focus on Simplifying Sustainable Supply Chains, Aravo’s goal is to give you an information management platform that you can use to manage your global supply chain for your sustainability initiatives while managing the dizzying array of new industry regulations popping up around the globe. Their solutions is configurable, scalable, and comes with a full set of dashboards that provide visibility at multiple levels of detail. The solution enables on-time completion of initiative programs since visibility is available to executives on a daily basis. It is worth checking out.