So far in this series we have discussed the need for SRM (Part I), Chicago and a foundation for your SRM effort (Part II), tips and tricks for foundational success (Part III), the importance of good supplier relationships and State of Flux‘s latest research report The Business of Supplier Relationships (Part IV), and the six pillars of supplier relationships and their importance (Part V). While all of this is important, it only discusses part of the treatment — the process part. As has been indicated, another part is also needed — the platform part.
In addition to offering a foundation for SRM and a process, State of Flux also offers a platform, which was recently renamed Statess and covered in our 3-part series on stabilizing your State of Flux earlier this year (Part I, Part II, and Part III).
The State of Flux Statess platform is a modular, flexible, and adaptable platform that is designed to meet your:
- relationship management,
- risk management,
- performance management,
- contract management,
- innovation management,
- sustainability & CSR,
- benefits management,
- category management,
- intelligence, and
- programme management needs.
The platform, which was designed to be easily configurable to provide the organization and the supplier with a 360-degree view from the buyer and supplier homepages, allows the buyer to create customized scorecards and reports using configurable widgets that can access data in any part of the implemented system. Moreover, should third party data feeds be enabled (through third party plug-ins), the buyer can also access trading information related to the supplier and its products, related news feeds, and third party intelligence on the supplier.
This third party data can be used to augment the very extensive supplier profiles the system allows you to maintain. Good SRM requires good SPM (Supplier Performance Management) which in turn requires good SIM (Supplier Information Management), so it should come as no surprise that the State of Flux platform is a first rate information management platform. These extensive profiles include information on the supplier’s organizational structure as well as extensive governance information that includes the individuals responsible for the relationship on both sides.
Furthermore, information collection is quite easy as 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.
Our third post in our series briefly covered the contract management, performance management, risk tracking, and innovation modules as well as the programme module which manages the projects. Each project can be associated with a business unit, one or more contracts or bids, zero or more other modules or initiatives in the platform (including performance management, risk management, and innovation), and can consist of one or more stages or tasks defined in accordance with well understand project management methodology.
And, as per our last post on the subject matter, the platform, while quite extensive, is still under active development. In our next post, we’ll discuss a few of the new features of the State of Flux Statess platform as well as some key features not addressed in our previous series.