That’s right, Supplier Management is a CORNED QUIP! And we’ll explain what we mean shortly, but first … how did we get here?
When we started this series back in Part 1, we noted that Source-to-Pay is extensive, your organization needed all of it, but your organization couldn’t implement it all at once. So we needed to give you advice on where to start, which, after a careful analysis, needed to be e-Procurement. Next came spend analysis because, in the hands of the right analyst, if your organization wasn’t sure what module was the next most valuable, spend analysis would help the organization identify which modules would likely bring the most (relative) value (based upon the opportunities spend analysis identified). Often, there will be a clear winner, and your organization will know what module to start implementing tomorrow, but sometimes there won’t be. So what’s the answer then? When you are dependent on suppliers, there is no value beyond the supplier. Thus, in this situation, Supplier Management comes next.
But why is Supplier Management a CORNED QUIP? A good solution preserves and maintains the data, like a good cure, but the marketing from most of the vendors with these solutions is more entertaining than enlightening (as they seem to prefer wit to wisdom). This, of course, is not at all helpful when there are literally ten (10) different types, or at least aspects, of supplier management solutions on the marketplace, no one vendor addresses all of the aspects in their solution, and, in many cases, doesn’t even address more than a couple of these aspects. Furthermore, depending on your organizational needs and the platforms your organization currently has in place, some capabilities will be much more important to your organization than other capabilities. Moreover, sometimes certain capabilities in a supplier management solution, already present in solutions already implemented by the organization, will be downright useless as these aspects will, thus, be completely redundant. So, if a vendor is just selling “Supplier Management” or “Supplier Lifecycle Management”, which theoretically includes every core type of capability (even though not a single solution on the market today comes close to materializing all the capabilities), how do you know what they are selling?
Just what might that vendor be selling when they are trying to sell you Supplier Management? One or more management aspects of the CORNED QUIP (but likely not all of those aspects, as every cure is different, and every message witty in its own way, but not exactly enlightening).
What are these ten (10), core, aspects of modern supplier management? (Which dictate the core capabilities that such a solution should offer.)
- C: Compliance (+ Government + Regulatory)
- O: Orchestration (or Onboarding + Multi-Tier/Multi-Supplier capability)
- R: Relationship
- N: Network
- E: Enablement (+ Engagement)
- D: Discovery
- Q: Quality
- U: Uncertainty (+ Risk)
- I: Information
- P: Performance
Now, before we continue, we know you’re saying “what about ESG” and “what about diversity“? Well, at least as of today, most of these providers are data services that you use to augment your central supplier records (in your Supplier Master Data Management [SMDM] Solution, which could be your SXM or could be the ERP that the SXM extracts data from), and not standalone SXM products, so we will tackle those separately at some point in the future (especially since diversity is literally just data enrichment on a supplier record in any current solution).
Thus, now that we know what we are implementing, our next step is to decide how to evaluate the solution. Thus, in our next post, we’ll begin to break down the ten core aspects of the CORNED QUIP and define not only what they mean, but what capabilities are critical to the cure.
On to the A-Side in Part 16.