SupplyChainBrain recently published a piece by APQC that outlined 10 Steps to designing an effective supplier relationship management program. It had some good tips, and was dead-on when it said that successful programs have four major components — methodology, collaboration and supply chain synchronization, technology processes, and measurement and rewards — but it overlooked the fact that not all components are created equal.
Methodology, Technology, and Measurement are all necessary conditions, but without collaboration, none will be sufficient. But collaboration is not an instant cure. As the article states, strategic relationships require time, trust, mutual understanding, regular and consistent communications, and mutual commitment to establish a long-term relationship. Collaboration will make the difference between good results and great results, but the great results won’t happen over night. They will only happen after the relationship has had time to simmer. Collaboration is the secret sauce, but it’s not a sauce that can be brought to a rapid boil and served.
SupplyManagement.com recently ran an article on 12 tips for effective processes that your public sector organization can use to get the most out of your upcoming eSourcing / eProcurement project if your organization is new to eSourcing / eProcurement. The hope is that there will be a quest for purchasing fire, but even if there is not, these tips will still help.
- Offer Guidance
Make sure internal customers are given proper guidance on what their requirements should address.
- Assess Project Risks
Identify what can go wrong, take steps to prevent the risks, and make contingency plans.
- Involve Stakeholders
Make sure they all get a chance to review the package before it goes out to bid.
- Seek External Expertise
Make sure you have sufficient knowledge before the project is begun.
- Insure Sufficient Resources
Be sure the financial and human resources are in place before the project starts to prevent it from stalling.
- Form an Acquisition Plan
Identify how transactions will occur, how goods and services will be tracked, and how the project will be completed.
- Target the Right Bidders
No project will succeed if the right suppliers are not in the mix.
- Evaluate Bids Correctly
And according to the evaluation methodology set out up front (that was included in the bid package).
- Involve Legal and Technical Experts
These can be internal or external, but all legal and technical aspects are reviewed by competent professionals.
- Involve Key Players Early
And make sure this involvement goes beyond a simple review of the draft bid package.
- Monitor the Project
Projects tend to stall and die when not monitored.
- Record Savings Made
And report progress regularly.
These are all good tips, and not hard to implement. It basically all comes down to preparation, preparation, and more preparation … and the willingness to work with others and, if necessary, share the success.