Forgotten About This in Your Annual Supplier Meetings?
Posted by Georg Roesch, VP Direct Procurement Product Management in Supplier Management on February 4, 2020
With 2020 well and truly begun, the timely question of whether you’ve had you had your annual supplier meetings yet, or not, springs to mind.
If you haven’t, do your suppliers know what you expect from them? And if your answer is ,”Definitely! All done. We’ve updated prices so everything is now sorted”, ask yourself if that really is everything? Is it really enough to re-negotiate prices with the most important partners once a year? Or should there be more to it?
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See a supplier meeting as an opportunity
Price structure is one thing, but you also need to think about the overall performance of your supplier. What is cooperation like across all levels? Starting with management down to the operational level and day-to-day activities. Running business operations together is important today, but what will this look like in the coming years? What do you want to achieve together and what goals do you have? What can you take from your current work together and develop further? Which aspects have the most potential to drive future success? What changes need to be made in order to realize that potential?
“Annual supplier evaluation discussions are the basis for a long-term dialog which can ultimately generate business value.”
The benefits of an SRM tool
It is important to have an intensive discussion with essential partners and review your work together. There is so much information available about cooperation together, but are you using this properly? And to its full advantage? An SRM tool can offer plenty of support and make information more transparent. It can deliver detailed analysis of costs and price developments. It can also show information about supplier performance. An SRM tool supports you in setting up and implementing strategies and activities. It also systematically prepares information to show you different possible courses of action.
Real-Life Example: Lynsey Bennet, Procurement Officer (Contract and Supplier Management) at South Ayrshire Council, “…we can compare different elements like cost, quality, service, lead times, response times, etc, and where we have issues, we can determine what each other is experiencing and what each other is doing to remedy or change them. We can cross-check what performance looks like for another authority and talk about receiving the same service or results. We are going into review meetings with accurate information, we can ask the right questions and make the right decisions to help the supplier develop. This is very valuable to us – an effective, ongoing way to secure value for the longer term.”
In my experience, annual supplier evaluation discussions are the basis for a long-term dialog which can ultimately generate business value. It’s a space to initiate innovation, optimize processes and identify and assess risks in the supply chain.
The upshot: It’s absolutely worth holding a regular, intensive annual discussion with your supplier!