6) Segment suppliers to focus scarce resources on supplier
relationships that have the greatest impact. Ensure segmentation
is executed with robust governance that is consistently adopted,
deployed and measured.
7) Connect the enterprise and key suppliers with scalable, secure,
integrated and accessible technology.
8) Take an ongoing, proactive approach by sharing information to
promote transparency and trust throughout the course of the
9) Work with key suppliers to produce a joint account plan that seeks
to create lasting value and assure mutual benefit.
10) Create a role that will attract the right and best SRM talent and
ensure a pipeline of continuous talent and promotion opportunity.
EMPLOYING GAME-CHANGING STRATEGIES
Every market is in the grip of change, with disruption becoming
the norm. Within the last 10 years, there have been unprecedented
levels of change in the business world, driven partly by technology
but also significant geopolitical and demographic shifts. Additionally,
the transformative effects of the internet, new media and computing
technologies have resulted in an exponential factor of speed to change.
To survive, companies are seeking innovation in products and services;
customer service; processes and business models; and most notably,
relationships with key suppliers. If organizations treat suppliers
only as a point of risk or a cost-cutting opportunity, they can miss
the competitive advantage that comes from employing suppliers’
knowledge and expertise. Every contract, every invoice, every meeting
and every competitive opportunity can alter your relationship with a
To be deliberate with disruption and create a sustainable supplier
collaboration model, corporate culture must evolve and align to the
creation and maintenance of mutually beneficial relationships with
key suppliers. Open dialogue and speed to decision are cornerstone
behaviors that will foster successful exploitation of game-changing
strategies that can lead to market differentiation. ISM
Kimberly Proffitt is an associate vice president at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus,
Ohio. The views expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and not of
Many industry experts and CPOs agree that SRM
has huge, untapped potential to deliver long-term value. A cornerstone trait for sustainable
collaboration, which is often misunderstood and
undersold, is being a customer of choice. If SRM
is implemented effectively, a customer of choice
will create opportunities for deliberate disruption
However, there are clearly things that need to
be done to create a sustainable ecosystem for
successful supplier collaboration, including:
1) Identify your starting position. Determine
where you are and how SRM aligns to the
organization’s strategy and business drivers.
This enables you to close any business
2) Create strategies focused on the most
important business drivers and develop a
collaborative approach with suppliers.
3) Capture and report both financial and
intangible benefits of an SRM program to
show the value and establish momentum.
• Quantifiable methodology for giving value
to innovation, new revenue and efficiency
• Performance improvement against key/
• Co-development or joint-development
impact and value
• Co-branded marketing against customer
recognition and sales
• Mutual product review opportunity.
4) Engage in proactive, two-way dialogue with
all key stakeholder groups.
5) Listen to suppliers. Because suppliers are
one of the key stakeholder groups, find out
their opinions through “voice of the supplier”
surveys. This is critical in understanding how
they view you and how you compare with
If SRM is implemented effectively, a customer of
choice will create opportunities for deliberate
disruption and innovation.