Oracle's Top Tips for Supplier Relationship Management
Oracle's top tips for Supplier Relationship Management is cool and all, but it's a lot better when you read this article inside the March Issue of Supply Chain Digital aka The Most User-Friendly E-Reader on the Web today. Just sayin'.
1) DO YOUR HOMEWORK UP FRONT
Before entering into a relationship with a supplier it’s critical that an organisation does its homework and researches the historical performance of a supplier. This mitigates any surprises once a formal relationship has been formed with the supplier, which will ensure open communication. Knowing the viability of the supplier in the long term is crucial, which means investigating a supplier’s financial stability, reputation, experience in supplying to blue-chip organisations, quality of product, and ability to deliver consistently. Also, does the supplier understand the tax and legal implications of exporting and importing goods, and do they have the capacity to increase inventory to offset any disruptions in the supply chain? What would happen if there were severe weather problems, such as heavy snow or floods, would the supplier still be equipped to deliver the goods on time? Really knowing your supplier helps to build a healthy relationship.
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2) UNDERSTAND THE SUPPLIER'S CULTURE
Companies need to truly understand the supplier’s culture as this will determine how the supplier does business, how they engage and interact, and what their management style is. What is acceptable behaviour and custom in one country isn’t in another, so companies must be wary of other country’s customs and cultures so as not to alienate the relationship with the supplier, but nurture it.
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3) ADAPT THE BUSINESS MODEL TO ACCOUNT FOR THE SUPPLIER'S LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
Globalisation has resulted in organisations working with suppliers from the emerging markets. The supply chain model and processes that work in developed markets may not perform in an emerging market. Expertise and infrastructure that is taken for granted may not exist, so processes need to be adapted to take account of the environment the supplier is used to working in. To maintain a workable relationship, organisations must go to market with a trusted supplier.
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4) DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
This is business best practice – never assume the unspoken, only acknowledge what has been verbally and physically documented. This is especially true when working with suppliers who are geographically dispersed and from a different culture. Companies must make sure they are clear and unambiguous with suppliers and their expectations are understood. Differing cultures and language can confuse two parties who have very different views of a conversation or agreement. So document everything in a clear and transparent way.
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5) DON'T RELY ON TECHNOLOGY TO MANAGE THE RELATIONSHIP
Technology alone can’t manage a supplier relationship. To make it work, companies must build close relationships and trust with a supplier, and this can’t be achieved without face-to-face meetings. Software technology enables and supports the opportunity to work with local and remote suppliers, but without human contact organisations will stumble in the early stages of working with the supplier. It’s a combination of technology and human interaction that will ensure a successful relationship.
6) HAVE A TRANSPARENT VIEW OF WHAT'S GOING ON
This is where technology plays an important role – information management systems help to offset some of the risks associated with working with suppliers. They provide greater visibility into what is happening in a supplier’s organisation, in real-time, regardless of the supplier’s location. If the supplier, as well as the organisation procuring the service, can access the same information through an intranet, both parties will have a three hundred and sixty degree view of where the process is at. The more transparency you have the better you can manage the supplier relationship.
Supplier management tools, such as product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, help to track a supplier’s financial and business health, plus its provides a mechanism for sharing product information to ensure everyone is working to the same specification and that product quality is measured. Also, supply chain planning solutions enable an organisation to gain visibility into a supplier’s capacity, progress of an order, and allow them to track the order through the logistics network. This enables a company to gain early insight into delays or capacity constraints and take relevant action against the supplier. Underpinning the supply chain with technology helps companies to manage and maintain an open relationship with their suppliers.
Andrew Spence is the Supply Chain Business Development Director for Oracle.
Don't forget to check out the complete March issue of Supply Chain Digital.
SAP Ariba to digitise procurement for Expo 2020 suppliers
The global trade event, this year hosted in Dubai, was rescheduled from last year and will now take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.
As the event’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP Ariba solutions will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined experience for thousands of market leading, global suppliers and strengthening the global supply chain with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The cloud-based platforms operate through on SAP Ariba’s UAE public cloud data centre and connects to the Ariba Network.
Expo 2020 "a long-term investment"
Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the world trade event is “a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth”, which stretches beyond Expo 2020’s six-month window.
“Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever,” he added. “The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.”
To date, more than AED 1bn has already been transacted by Expo 2020 suppliers through SAP Ariba. The platform promotes collaborative partnerships and allows registered users to participate in sourcing events, negotiate and initiate contracts, and centralise their invoicing and payments in real time.
Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing.”
About Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai and is the first of the long-running World Expos to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia territory. The original World Expo, called the Great Exhibiton, was hosted in 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, designed as a showcase for the innovations of the Industrial Revolution.
Expo 2020 was originally due to run 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, but was last year postponed in light of COVID-19 restrictions - though some business has already taken place virtually. The event will place greater emphasis on innovation in sustainable solutions through the Sustainability District, blending technology and culture. It is expected that around 70 per cent of the 25 million attendees will be international visitors.