2009 Vendor BS of the Year: SRM

Since I’m sure you’ll find many posts and articles on the best supply management technology of 2009 if you take the time to look, I’m going to take a slightly different approach and focus on the best bullsh*t supply management technology of the year in 2009. That was, without a doubt, SRM, or, in it’s full vernacular glory, Supplier Relationship Management. Less than five years after SAP adopted the phrase as their own, it seems every vendor and their mascot has jumped on the SRM feel-good-wagon and tried to make it their own.

It’s simultaneously hilarious and pathetic because there’s no such thing as SRM technology. There’s SCM (Supplier Compliance Management), SDM (Supplier Data Management), SEM (Supplier Environmental Management), SIM (Supplier Information Management), SPM (Supplier Performance Management), and probably a dozen other SXM solutions that are, more-or-less real, honest-to-goodness technology solutions, but not SRM.

The very definition of relationship is “a connection between persons“. Persons, not systems. Even if the technology uses AI and connects to a supplier system that also uses AI, that’s still not “a connection between persons”. So while you can buy systems to track environmental and regulatory compliance (SCM), electronically exchange data with your suppliers (SDM), track carbon emissions (SEM), manage all of your vendor data across multiple systems though a single interface (SIM), and track metrics and scorecards (SPM), you can’t buy a piece of software that will manage your relationship, as that requires real person-to-person interaction.

It’s too bad that you, my dear readers, and I are apparently the only ones who realize this as I’m sick and tired of hearing how great SRM is from all of the publications who have apparently fallen for this bullsh*t –spread by the vendors in the space en-masse because “SAP did it” — hook, line, and sinker. Every time they profile this BS, another great technology goes unnoticed. And, as far as I’m concerned, that helps no one (except, of course, for the publication that gets a nice chunk of advertising revenue from the vendor they profiled in their SRM story, but I’m probably not supposed to write that).

If you disagree with me and think that another bullsh*t technology, process, or claim was even wider spread in 2009, I encourage you to leave a comment below stating what it was, why it was bullsh*t, and why it deserves to knock SRM out of the top spot. And remember, on the leaner and meaner SI, as long as you follow the comment rules, you don’t have to pull your punches.

We’ve got the right to choose and
there ain’t no way we’ll lose it
this is our life, this is our song.
We’ll fight the powers that be
just don’t pick our destiny
’cause you don’t know us, you don’t belong

oh we’re not gonna take it
no, we ain’t gonna take it
oh we’re not gonna take it anymore
  Twisted Sister, 1984

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