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4 Reasons to Take Your SRM Strategy Digital

Virtually every enterprise in every industry has felt the ripple effect of supply chain disruption in 2020. Strategic sourcing and procurement teams across the globe have grappled with ongoing uncertainty and are partnering more closely than ever with their strategic vendors to ensure continuity for their businesses. As teams are spread across geographies and value chains remain unpredictable, sourcing and procurement organizations with real-time collaboration capabilities are better positioned to partner strategically with suppliers and protect their business’ future. 

Technology-enabled sourcing teams are finding innovative ways to shore up their supply chains, strengthen their strategic partnerships, and mitigate risk for the business. Here are four key benefits of a digital Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) strategy:

Constant Communication

With collaboration functionalities like real-time messaging, en-masse supplier communication, and feedback mechanisms, strategic sourcing leaders are staying aligned with their partners through every step of the sourcing process. As business conditions continue to evolve rapidly, sourcing leaders are leveraging technology to increase their collaboration with suppliers and: 

  • Identify their strategic partners and work towards mutually beneficial outcomes like renegotiated minimums and extended payment terms
  • Provide real-time feedback throughout the bidding process and optimize pricing conversations remotely
  • Save valuable time by centralizing communication in a single source of truth rather than wading through countless email chains.
  • Keep a record of supplier correspondence for easy reference

Although face-to-face communication may be on hold, effective sourcing teams aren’t missing a beat. Backed by technology, these teams are partnering proactively with their suppliers to anticipate their business’ needs and ensure continuity across the enterprise.

Increased Compliance

Risk mitigation is top of mind for strategic sourcing leaders across all industries. According to a recent Gartner report, 75% of procurement leaders identified supplier risk management as one of the core processes they anticipate changing significantly in the future. Sourcing teams need a way to easily assess and monitor potential risks to the business. With a digital supplier management strategy, sourcing leaders can:

      • Assess individual supplier risk with custom surveys and forms
      • Easily filter and funnel suppliers through correct security review processes 
      • Automate compliance with pre-configured approval workflows
      • Centralize and maintain accurate supplier information on a single platform

When Gemological Institute of America (GIA) leveraged technology to enhance their supplier management, they were able to create a risk rating system to better protect their business. In addition, GIA saw 100% NDA compliance from their suppliers with their digitized strategy. With enhanced risk mitigation, the procurement team at GIA has elevated their role in the business:

“Scout has enabled us to go from purchasers to procurement business partners that our cross-functional teams are much more willing to collaborate with.”  -Michael Wobby, Manager, Lean Process Improvement, Finance at GIA – watch how.

Maximized Performance 

In order to effectively identify key suppliers, sourcing teams must be able to evaluate and track supplier performance over time. Without a system of record for supplier performance, many teams may not have the necessary data points to understand their relationships with their vendors and make strategic decisions. A digital supplier management strategy can help you:

      • Gain a holistic view of your suppliers with historical performance data
      • Collaborate with your suppliers on periodic reviews 
      • Communicate feedback in real-time to drive performance
      • Maximize business outcomes by focusing on the highest-impact suppliers

With ongoing business disruptions, it is imperative that sourcing teams are partnering strategically with suppliers to better serve the business. Sourcing teams that are able to automatically track and monitor supplier performance are driving major impact across the enterprise. 

Seamless Supplier Data

With back-office operations migrating into the cloud, leading enterprises are relying on an ecosystem of software to support their business needs. Sourcing teams that are able to integrate supplier data into their existing vendor masters are able to:

      • Save valuable time with automated data transfer
      • Reduce risk of human error and virtually eliminate need for manual data entry
      • Increase efficiency and productivity through 
      • Ensure supplier data integrity across the enterprise

By managing suppliers digitally, sourcing teams are able to gain actionable insights from their supplier data and drive major business impact. 

“Scout RFP has significantly improved our sourcing and procurement process. Implementing ScoutRFP’s new API will more seamlessly integrate our RFx data and allow us to explore that data in Tableau, leading to better, faster, and more impactful decisions.” – Neeraj Mathur, Director of Procurement at Tableau

Gain Total Visibility into Your Supply Base

With approximately 65% of procurement leaders reporting that they have limited to no visibility beyond their tier 1 suppliers, the time is ripe to take your SRM strategy digital. Sourcing teams that are able to drill down into their suppliers and their suppliers’ suppliers (say that five times fast!) can better assess risk to the business and plan strategically for the future. Providing stakeholders with important supplier information like financial data, security protocols, and more is also essential in streamlining sourcing processes.

Looking to learn more about how digital acceleration can help you elevate your sourcing organization? Join Becton Dickinson Director of Procurement, Business Services – Jonathan Corbitt – on Oct. 1st to learn how you can increase visibility, mitigate risk, and drive enterprise-wide impact. Register today

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