What You Can’t Afford Not to Know About Your Suppliers

Supply & Demand Executive recently published an article on What You Can’t Afford Not to Know About Your Suppliers by Jim Lawton of Open Ratings, who guest-posted Five Types of Supply Risk, and How to Mitigate Them and Winning the Battle on Risk: Information and Technology back in February.

In the article, Jim states that although no one disputes that the procurement and supply chain function across multiple industries has taken on a far more strategic role today. Despite this rise – even with the introduction of new business processes and programs, skills and staff development initiatives, and new technology and systems – few organizations are equipped with the global insight necessary to operate at a world-class level on a new stage. I’d have to agree. The recent rise of China-related fiascos is just one example. More can be found in the article on Worst Supply Chain Disasters or in various headlines over on CNN.com.

Jim goes on to note that from regional supplier directories to detailed and current performance, risk and capability intelligence, global supplier insight can become as indispensable to sourcing and supply management as a stage is to an actor. It can also help organizations understand on a total landed cost basis – quantifying price, performance and risk – the difference between regional suppliers and those from emerging markets such as Mexico and China and that companies need global supplier insight and content that focuses on three key areas to maximize their supply management results. These three areas are:

  • Supplier performance and quality management
  • Supply risk management
  • Supplier content and connectivity

Furthermore, to provide insight and connectivity into these three areas, global supplier insight solutions also need to deliver real-time content, analytics, risk management and supplier enablement capabilities. These solutions also need to be offered in a platform-agnostic environment, leveraging existing processes, systems and investments. Like Bloomberg’s financial information, which traders and financial managers use to improve their decision-making in the capital markets, purchasing and commodity managers must receive this type of content they way they prefer to digest it, whether pushed to their own desktop or through a specific application or even a designated terminal. After all, global supplier insight solutions can enable procurement organizations to take their supply performance to the next level. By empowering individuals with insight and connectivity, they bridge the gap between the internal and external, proving invaluable for strategic and tactical decisions alike.