On Friday, we noted that State of Flux just released their eighth annual SRM survey, entitled Digital SRM: Supplier Relationships in the New Technology Landscape, and with it the surprising revelation that while leaders are taking steps forward, Procurement organizations as a whole might be stagnant or taking steps back! This, of course, is not a good thing because the best sourcing event in the world is useless if the plan (encapsulated in the contract) isn’t followed through and the expected savings or value never materializes. SRM is the key to realizing sourcing success, and too many companies overlook that (and wonder why 30% to 40% of identified savings never materialize).
We’ve written many posts over the years not only on the importance of SRM but how to implement it and support it with technology, so this time, instead of doing another multi-part series (which can be found in the archives), we’ll just skip to some of the case studies covered in the report and hope that maybe they are enough to convince you to get your SRM act in gear and go forward!
Telstra, a big name in Australian telecoms that is relatively unknown outside of Australia, implemented a SRM program that not only put more structure, process, and value around SRM but repositioned the perception of Procurement from a function that is only focussed on cost saving to one that works with suppliers and stakeholders toward the realization of business goals. As a result of this change in mind set, and more collaboration between different departments and suppliers, Telstra has met 10% of savings targets through increased revenues, showing that SRM can do more than save money, it can increase sales and revenues by finding ways to create new value that end customers will pay (more) for.
But that’s a small win compared to Ladbrokes who saved £18 M by taking the gamble out of SRM. Since beginning their SRM transformation in 2014, they hit a 3-year savings target of £ 18M a full year ahead of schedule, demonstrating the true savings potential of a well defined and well executed SRM project, which is huge in an industry where the majority of indirect spend has to go to a very small supplier base and where competitive bidding has little effect.
And the value of SRM has not been lost on the giants. For example, if Mars were a public company, it would be a Fortune 100 company as it regularly sells in excess of $ 33 Billion a year in food products (as it manufacturers more than just the iconic Mars bar). Even though it is a top procurement organization (that employs many leading supply management technologies and processes), it has recognized that SRM can help it get even bigger and better still, and that is part of the ambitious plan it has for SRM. While its initial SRM program is still in rollout, it’s starting to see a lot of enthusiasm from stakeholders and suppliers alike, which is a hard momentum to build in an organization of 77,000 employees with a dedicated commercial team of 1,200 individuals! Whereas most organizations might have a few dozen people on the commercial side, and maybe a few hundred, and can thus build enthusiasm for new initiatives and roll them out quickly, getting a thousand people on board is no easy feat. But the potential of SRM is such that even an entire organization can get behind an initiative that can cut costs, increase value, and even encourage innovation in the supply base.
In other words, there’s a lot of gold in them thar SRM hills, and any organization that doesn’t mine for it is leaving a lot of money and value on the table. To find out how much money and what kind of value might be left on the table, check out Digital SRM: Supplier Relationships in the New Technology Landscape. It’s worth your time.