Courtesy of Jason Busch, Spend Matters:
At Forrester’s recent Sourcing and Vendor Management Summit, Jason Busch of Spend matters fame presented a hypothesis that supplier networks, collaborative groups and even social applications will play an increased role in how we manage global suppliers. Among these, he cited Aravo Assure (a supplier network), Achilles (a shared-service BPO offering for supplier management) and SAP Supplier InfoNet as examples as to where the market is likely to move in the future.
While we could spend thousands of words just scratching the surface of the different types of supplier network operating models focused on compliance, it’s our general view that this evolution is significant because it markets a fundamental change away from looking at supplier CSR and broader management initiatives on a one-to-one basis and instead considers such programs on a many-to-many one, creating new economies of scale. To eliminate duplication of effort, some of these services will provide a single location for non-procurement (and procurement) stakeholders to manage up-to-date supplier information for special initiatives like CSR, diversity, risk, etc.
Spend Matters believes, as they’ve stated before, that these collaborative and networked supplier management applications will increase productivity, potentially by an order of magnitude, for both buyer and supplier relationship management. Duplication of effort, whether it involves suppliers uploading certifications or buyers searching for a niche supplier that meets a specific regional environmental standard will be eliminated. Most important, suppliers will provide and update administrative information once — which will cascade across all of their customers.
If you’re curious about learning more, check out their supplier management research on Spend Matters PRO (which is free to qualified practitioners).