State of Flux: The Flux Capacitor is being designed for the Future … of SRM!

State of Flux is a provider of Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) software and services that was founded in London (England) in 2004 to focus on an overlooked area of supply management, supplier relationship management. When it was founded back in 2004, most companies were just starting to offer supplier information management (SIM) solutions, which were a pre-cursor to the KPI / scorecard-based supplier performance management (SPM) solutions that followed. Only a few companies had SRM in their mind’s eyes, and State of Flux was one. What started as a very simple system for supplier information, performance, and supplier (corrective) action planning and development has grown into a full fledged supplier relationship management solution that encapsulates supplier information management, performance management, risk management, governance and relationship management, CSR (corporate social responsibility), contract, and innovation management.

In addition to their SRM services, focussed around consulting and executive staffing/managed services, and software (which was branded Statess), they have also been producing the Global SRM research report (which was covered in State of Flux has the Treatment for your SRM Ailments Part I: The Need and Part IV: The Business of Supplier Relationships) for the last seven years which provides very deep insights into the state of supplier relationship management and what the top performers do. (Last year’s report was focussed on the customer of choice, and companies that are their suppliers’ customer of choice get [significantly] more value than their peers and this year’s report will be focussed on technology, and the value it can provide, and the annual survey will be out soon.)

As we have covered the platform fairly extensively in the past (in Statess Part I, Part II, and Part III and State of Flux Part I and Part II), this post will simply focus on major improvements since the last series.

In our last series, we discussed the developments in progress, namely:

  • Prospective Suppliers
  • Contract Management Enhancements
  • KPI Templates and Drillable Scorecards

Since then, State of Flux has completed these enhancements.

  • The prospective supplier module is based on questionnaires with dynamic workflows that ensure a supplier only provides the information that is required, and cannot participate in open challenges until all necessary information has been provided.
  • Contract data and meta-data definition is now highly granular, and the version comparison feature allows a buyer to quickly identify any changes between versions.
  • The KPI templates have been completed and augmented with a wizard that makes it really easy to replicate KPIs across suppliers and organizational units, and make the minor tweaks and modifications (to the weightings, data fields, etc.) that are necessary to have the most accurate and meaningful supply possible.

In addition to this functionality, State of Flux has also added:

  • Single Sign On: that integrates with the organization’s native LDAP (or other single-sign on mechanism) to allow a user to sign-in with an existing account
  • Deep CreditSafe Integration: that integrates all of the credit safe financial and risk data across the application (including the risk and performance modules) with quick access to a supplier rating from the supplier screens
  • Automatic Risk (Severity) Calculation: that automatically computes the severity (and RAG — red, amber, green — status) of a risk as soon as the probability and potential impact of a risk are defined
  • Excel Export which enables every piece of data in the application to be exported to well-formatted Excel spreadsheets and workbooks (for import into other systems and analysis/reporting tools)

The system gets better each year, and when you combine it’s end to end completeness with the fact that there are only a handful of providers focussing on best-practice SRM, State of Flux is definitely a provider to consider. For a deeper dive on State of Flux and their platform, watch out for the upcoming Spend Matters Pro piece (membership required) co-authored by the doctor and the prophet that will take a deep dive into the platform, it’s strengths, and its opportunities for improvement.