Assuming one exists …
Five years ago we first asked this question and a few answers we gave was a stellar supplier was a supplier that
- actively self manages
- measures, tracks, and even reports its own performance against SLAs and KPIs
- accepts — and even helps to identify — the corrective actions it needs to take
- actively works to not only meet expectations but exceed them
- communicates as soon as something happens that could threaten a KPI, SLA, commitment, or expectation.
And if multiple suppliers met these requirements, you wanted one that is willing to
- jointly identify opportunities for efficiency improvements and cost reductions
But then last year we noted that we missed something important. Most importantly, none of this mattered unless the supplier was willing to
- open its books
- expose its supply chain and jointly identify tier 2 risks
But this is not everything that makes a stellar supplier. While its critical that any strategic supplier open its books and expose the risks that affect you, one more thing is critical.
- platform adoption
If you’re using modern S2P platforms, they all rely on data to deliver their value. And a lot of the data they require is supplier (-related) data that needs to come from the supplier. And since there is no way you can enter all of the data you need from all the suppliers, you need them to use the portal you provide them. You need them to adopt your platform. If they won’t, they are not the stellar supplier you need.