In our last two posts we introduced you to Statess and their SRM solution. With eleven years of SRM consulting behind it, and six years of Global SRM research, the platform hits the mark and provides the solution that many companies need to manage their supplier performance, development, and relationships. In today’s post we’re going to cover some of the key features of a few of the core platform modules.
As indicated in our last post, the platform is easily configured to provide a 360-degree view of a supplier and from the supplier homepage, a user can quickly access the overview report, profile data (which can be used to build a complete Supplier Information Management, or SIM, solution), performance data (collected internally and from third parties), the risk profile, associated contracts, tracked innovation efforts, Corporate Social Responsibility efforts undertaken by the organization and/or the supplier, current projects, supplier accreditations, 360-degree surveys (by the supplier of the organization), existing reports, and all dashboards that correspond to the supplier. In addition, if available (via 3rd party plugins), the buyer can also access trading information related to the supplier and its products, news feeds on the supplier, and the supplier’s media portal. Whereas some SRM solutions scatter supplier data throughout the different modules, the Statess solution, which allows for data entry and maintenance throughout the different modules, allows for the easy creation of centralized views by supplier so the organization, and a buyer, always has all of the relevant information through one common access point.
The system supports very extensive supplier profiles. In addition to basic HQ, Finance, and Contact information, the system can also store information on the supplier’s organizational structure as well as information on the supplier’s mission, vision, corporate objectives, and sustainability commitments (used in the CSR module). Furthermore, it can store extensive governance information that includes all of the individuals responsible for the relationship on both the supplier side and the organizational side, a complete stakeholder map, necessary actions, governance plans, planned meeting dates, and the minutes and reports associated with those meetings. Actions are implemented as project tasks and have owners, states, and status. This, in turn, provides a strong foundation for performance management and development programs.
At its core, the platform supports a very powerful generic survey mechanism that, like a good RFI solution, allows multiple types of surveys to be built with multiple sections, different response types (checkbox, numeric fields, free text, etc.) for each question, and automatic weighting mechanisms. This allows the organization to prepare the appropriate internal performance surveys and external 360-degree surveys that form the basis of good performance, CSR, Risk, and Relationship management programs.
Projects, which can correspond to the different types of efforts that can be managed in the system (including, but not limited to, risk management, compliance management, supplier development, innovation, and sustainability), can be associated with a business unit, optionally associated with one or more contracts or bids, and contain multiple stages or tasks, as they are defined in accordance with the traditional, well understood, project management methodology.
Performance reviews are built on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), one or more KPIs can be built for each area (risk, compliance, CSR, contract, etc.) of interest, and the review can be broken down by key area. Year-over-year changes can be automatically calculated and the data can be imported from external systems or the ERP in supported data formats. Color-coding and drill-down views allow an organization to quickly pinpoint problem areas and then launch development initiatives off of the relevant area or KPI. KPIs have an extensive definition in the system (which includes categorization, associated business units, organization and supplier owner, input/import method, update frequency, default reporting frequency, tolerance levels, etc.) and, when properly defined, become a powerful performance measurement and management tool.
Risk tracking is also quite extensive, allowing the organization to categorize risks in different categories and track them using external data feeds (or manually entered data), define and store supplier contingency and business continuity plans, and integrate Lexis Diligence in real-time against the supplier and identified risks of interest.
Contract Management tracks all of the contract meta-data that you would expect, supports versioning, stores default templates, tracks contracting entities, and even allows for the definition of sibling (related) and child contracts so a buyer can not only quickly retrieve a contract for a product or service, but determine if there are any other contracts of relevance if she is sourcing a category or thinking of dealing with an entity wholly owned by the supplier.
The innovation module serves two primary functions. First of all, it allows an organization to centralize tracking and management of supplier projects focussed on innovating (a new product design or service). Secondly, it allows the organization to track public challenges that it issues on sites such as Innocentive. This is a useful capability that many software solutions overlook.
In summary, the new Statess solution is a very extensive SRM platform that makes a great entry point for any company wanting to get their SRM under control.