SRM Supplier Relationship Management

Understanding and managing IT vendor relationships: do they matter?

Gunarathna_Koneru_200.pngBy Tiran Gunarathna, Senior IT Category Lead, Infosys Business Process Management; and
SriKrishna Koneru, AVP - Strategic Business Practice Head, Sourcing and Procurement, Infosys Business Process Management

We often hear about vendor management in sourcing and procurement organisations, but how frequently do we talk about vendor relationship management? Are they the same or are they different?

4 reasons to be excited about the future of supply chain technology

Technology_200.jpgBy Vijay Pandiarajan, Director: Product Management, IBM Sterling

What is next in supply chain systems? There is plenty to be excited about...
First-generation supply chains were good at automating and optimising processes. But they were restricted to functional silos - and that is not enough for what we need in supply chains today.

Advances in supply chain technology are needed if procurement teams are to manage supply chains that are dynamic, responsive and interconnected with ecosystems and external processes. New tech needs the capacity to manage much, much more data (by several orders of magnitude). This, in turn, will make it possible for an individual procurement manager to make sense of entire supply chain ecosystems in real-time.

These demands are driving progress - which is why I am excited about the future of supply chain technology.

SMME clinic | Pandemic proof your business - part 1

Smart Procurement World and its partners are joining forces to share insights and to help SMMEs during this challenging time.



SMME clinic | Pandemic proof your business - part 2

Elmarie Goosen flips things around and interviews Smart Procurement COO, Debbie Tagg on how Smart Procurement itself is addressing the pandemic and supporting small business.



How to partner with SMEs for success

How procurement can change the world

ChangingTheWorld_150.jpegBy Rod Robinson, Founder and CEO, ConnXus

When I graduated from Wharton in 1995 and decided to pursue a career in management consulting at AT Kearney, I had grand visions of being assigned to an engagement helping one of our multinational clients grow revenue through a high-profile M&A transaction or other topline growth strategy. Instead, I was assigned to a global strategic sourcing engagement for one of the most recognisable corporate brands in the world. I didn't know what strategic sourcing was, but quickly learnt that it was an approach to supply chain management that enabled an organisation to leverage its consolidated purchasing power to optimise the value it received from suppliers. This is when I realised that procurement was an often overlooked area of hidden corporate value.

How to build superior supplier relationships like Honda

MatthiasGutzmann_100.jpgMuch has been said about Japanese automakers and their ability to build close ties with their suppliers. However, in times in which the gap between strategic suppliers and all others is becoming even bigger, and strategic suppliers that will have a much greater influence on a company's growth agenda, it is worth re-examining what companies like Honda and Toyota are doing right when it comes to turning their suppliers into profit machines and what others can learn from them.

With 60%-80% of total organisational revenue spend now lying with a few strategic suppliers in many companies, the need for alignment, collaboration and joint problem-solving has never been more critical than today.

Matthias Gutzmann, Founder of Digital Procurement World, takes a look.

How to conduct a supplier review: a case study

FrancisChurchill_100.jpgBy Francis Churchill

In 2017, Vitality, a UK health insurance firm, decided to do a 360-degree review of its supply chain. The firm, part of Discovery Limited, had recently restructured and rebranded, and wanted to have a clear idea of what its relationships with suppliers were like.

Sourcing and supplier managers Duncan Campbell-Marsh, Frances Cooke and Chris Wilson sent out surveys throughout the organisation as well as to its suppliers, asking about activity between Vitality and its suppliers. "The whole point of it is that they have to be honest, otherwise we are not going to achieve anything from carrying out the survey", says Campbell-Marsh.

'ESD programmes not relevant and funding remains a problem' say entrepreneurs

LouisaPaulsen.jpgThe SEED Engine is currently running its annual The Real State of Entrepreneurship Survey. In 2018, more than 1 500 entrepreneurs participated in the survey. The survey findings were enlightening, but not unexpected: enterprise supplier development (ESD) programmes that are intended to assist entrepreneurs are proving to be of little value to the majority of entrepreneurs, many of whom attend several per annum with a view to access purchase orders.

While ESD programmes are sending entrepreneurs back to school, many indicated that the programmes are not addressing the specific needs of their businesses.

Procurement contracts are turning entrepreneurs away as contracts are often not split or designed to accommodate smaller role players in sectors.

Entrepreneurs further flagged corruption among procurement personnel as a serious and growing issue, one that is adding to the cost of doing business.

Louise Paulsen, a consultant, advisor, director and mentor in localisation and enterprise development, highlights the main issues from the 2018 survey.

Join us at Smart Procurement World Gauteng, where a panel discussion entitled 'Reducing the SMME Mortality Rate' will unpack the development of effective exit strategies for SMMEs that have completed corporate ESD programmes. >>

10 things that I have learnt about mentoring Anzisha fellows

Louise1_125.jpgProcurement and supply chain professionals have such a broad range of skills and cross-functional business knowledge that it makes us all ideal mentors. Mentors share their professional knowledge/experiences and act as positive role models to mentees in need of some direction.

This is especially true when engaging with suppliers and mentoring young entrepreneurs partaking in enterprise supplier development (ESD) programmes. Small South African businesses are in desperate need of will take some time and commitment, but the results are extremely rewarding.

Louise Paulsen, Consultant, Advisor, Director and Mentor in localisation and enterprise development shares what she has learnt while mentoring Anzisha Prize fellows remotely. The Anzisha Program is a partnership between the African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation; it seeks to increase the number of entrepreneurs generating jobs in Africa.

How to spot supplier risk in communication

BenGoldwasser_100.jpgCommunication is a critical component of any business and is no less crucial in supplier relationships. When your company has great communication with its suppliers, it can be like adding another department to your organisation.

There are a large number of suppliers who do an excellent job communicating with their customers. You probably have several suppliers that you can think of right now that practice excellent communication. But what is it that sets these suppliers apart? Ben Goldwasser, Business Development Professional, Spendrix, investigates.

Stakeholders are your customers: ignore them at your peril

ElainePorteous_100.jpgStakeholders can and will influence the outcome of a project, especially if they are likely to be directly affected by it. If you thus fail to meet the expectations of key influencers, projects will be delayed, will only be partially workable or, at worst, doomed. Elaine Porteous unpacks the process of winning stakeholder support in this month's SmartProcurement.

Optimising value with a win-win supply chain

StevenBowen_200.jpgSupply chain partners that collaborate drive continuous improvement and innovation. But getting there takes a new approach, writes Steven Bowen and Kate Vitasek.

Part 3 - Does tertiary education kill the drive to start a small supplier?

CorneliaOlivier.jpgThe growth of small businesses in South Africa is severely affected by the institutional environment in which they operate. In this series of articles, Cornelia Olivier, Head of Sourcing: Corporate Services, Absa, looks at South Africa's institutional environment.

In the final part of the series, Olivier tells SmartProcurement how extending formal credit to household enterprises in South Africa supports a proportionate growth in the number of formally registered small businesses, but she is concerned that the country's education system may be cutting down our entrepreneurial ambitions...

Contracts: Paying for what works

SusanDeWitt.jpgAre performance clauses and outcomes-based contracts the answer?

Dr Susan de Witt from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town unpacks contract performance measurement in this month's SmartProcurement.

Procurement: Are you getting the most out of your supply base?

KristianOMeara.jpgWhen it comes to choosing suppliers, some procurement teams are losing sight of what matters most. Instead of focussing on the long-term, strategic value of a relationship, many often get caught up in the transactional aspects of signing a supplier, such as pricing, contracts and negotiations. They get so wrapped up in the details around how much the supply costs, the terms of agreement and product specifications, that they neglect to think about the overall value the supplier can bring to the organization, by helping them achieve their unique business goals, says Kristian O'Meara, senior vice president of value engineering at BravoSolution.

4 procurement vetting pitfalls to avoid


RudiKruger_2017.jpgMistakes in business come with the territory, but those made in procurement ought to be considered among the most detrimental to the success of an operation. Common procurement related risks include supplier issues such as delivery delays, increases in demand, quality problems and fraud. These issues are often the result of mistakes made in the procurement vetting process, Rudi Kruger, general manager of Risk Solutions at LexisNexis Data Services, told SmartProcurement.

6 Steps to improve buyer-supplier relationships


Sinbl_Hawro_Yakoob.jpgIn supply chain literature, as well as in business environments, supplier relationship management (SRM) and buyer-supplier relationships have multiple definitions, shapes and extensions, owed to the fact that the determinants and perceptions of these fields have evolved over time. With increasing globalisation, and economic and political turmoil, stable and focused SRM is more important than ever.

Sinbl Hawro Yakoob, responsible for handling bottleneck products in the Critical Parts Management Department at Mercedes-Benz in Maastricht, the Netherlands, describes the benefits, key approaches and techniques that enhance buyer-supplier relationships, in this month’s SmartProcurement.



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One of South Africa's leading, mining companies is