Supplier Relationship Management

Our Market Insights publication has just been published exploring the changing landscape of Procurement. We found an increased need for the number of category specific procurement professionals. It is evident that category management has now come to the forefront of the industry with more focus on that end-to-end process. From initial Market Analysis, Strategic Sourcing, Contract and Tender Management, Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Strategising and Post Implementation Review – each element champions that best procurement practice to gain commercial advantage.

‘The five secrets of supplier relationship management’ is an interesting read on the CIPS website. As recruiters of Procurement professionals, we are often advised that SRM is a prerequisite of any potential new recruit. Having that ability to build lasting, mutually beneficial business relationships is the key to succeed. The article discusses the importance of communication, thorough supplier analysis and utilising SRM system technologies to be instrumental in staying ahead of the game. With thorough understanding of your supplier performance data, you will successfully pinpoint the opportunities and threats to your supply base. Open communication will assist both parties in formulating the best plan of action and help ensure the strategy going forward is mutually beneficial.

Working in partnership leads to a more fluid supply chain. Communicating openly provides opportunities to problem solve and mitigate risk, and using SRM systems facilitates greater visibility for the procurement professional to maximise commercial advantages. If you treat your suppliers right, they will treat you right.

SRM is such an important competency of successful procurement. Having that commerciality, analytical flare and strong communicational skillset will hold you in excellent stead in securing your next procurement role. So next time you are looking at a career move, be sure to think about your SRM experience!

Sophie Cook