These days an average organization has a lot of uncertainty to deal with as a result of sustainability, regulatory, and risk headaches that plague it on a daily basis. These headaches range from paperwork headaches to regulatory migraines to minor delivery hiccups to major supply chain disruptions depending on whether an import form wasn’t received on time, certification requirements for key personnel were not completed, a strike erupted at a major port, or an earthquake destroyed a major production plant.
However, that uncertainty can be reduced with good planning, monitoring, and execution. Somewhat ironically, achieving this requires proper planning to identify the right processes and technologies that can be used to not only monitor the supply chain for events that can cause disruptions, but create mitigation and continuity plans that can be executed at the right time. And while it’s not always easy to identify the best processes, it’s a bit easier to identify the right kind of technologies. An organization that wants to reduce uncertainty needs to implement systems that monitor for events outside of its control that could increase its organizational risk and cause unexpected disruptions and it needs to implement systems that monitor for issues inside of its control that, if left unchecked, could increase risk or decrease effectiveness. One of the most important systems in this latter category is a SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) system because an organization’s suppliers, that often are the recipients of up to 80% of organizational spend, represent one of the biggest known, and manageable risks, to the organization.
While SRM solutions aren’t new, new SRM solutions are still being developed, and one such SRM solution that you likely haven’t heard of that could meet your organization’s needs is Statess. Although it’s a relatively new solution, it’s quite mature for its age as, unlike many solutions that first hit the market, it was not developed by a new software company but originally conceived of over six years ago by State of Flux, a mature, eleven year old provider of Supplier Management consulting, training, and research services (that recently rebranded their technology division as Statess). Even though you may never have heard of them, as they are on the other side of the pond, State of Flux is a leader in best practices and thought leadership for Supplier Management, and has been producing the Global SRM Research Report for the last six years. That’s longer than a number of self-proclaimed industry leading research firms on this side of the pond have been around!
As a result of this research, and the consulting they did for their clients, they not only quickly realized the need for a proper tool to manage supplier relationships, but realized that if the tool was not designed to streamline the common operations and adapt to the organization’s needs, it would not be effective. Based on this, they set out to design a tool that would work for the average organization it served and not end up as another piece of shelfware. Such a tool would not only have to help manage relationships and performance, enforce compliance, and mitigate risk, but also promote supplier development, allow for cross-organizational team collaboration, and, most importantly, go beyond just management to encourage true supplier innovation. In addition, depending on organizational need, the platform may need to support and manage contracts and categories, address sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and manage overall supplier development programmes.
It’s a pretty tall order, but the new Statess supplier management platform meets the bill with core modules for relationship management, performance management, contracts management, risk management, innovation management, and sustainability with over 50 uniquely defined sub-modules that address different aspects of contracts, performance, risk, innovation, and relationships.
In our next post we will begin to discuss the capabilities of the solution in detail and how it addresses each of these core issues.