Four ways to achieve great SRM

Done right, supplier relationship management can add real value

Investing in SRM is critical, said Sainsbury’s head of procurement Hannah O’Reilly at the launch of State of Flux’s 2017 Global SRM Research Report – and she offered her top tips.

1. It’s about relationships. The clue is in the name, so with SRM it’s really important to make sure you put people first. That means talking in ‘business language’ rather than ‘procurement language’ and making time for conversations.

2. What’s the value proposition? Understand the value of what you are trying to achieve – and that may mean different things for different stakeholders or parts of the business. What are your measures of success? You need to build a body of evidence to show what benefits SRM can bring.

3. Think like a start-up. Start lean, and then scale up. Accept that world domination will take time! Think about who the early adopters are likely to be, and who will always be last to the party. Be prepared to adapt and evolve; it won’t be a linear journey.

4. The best flowers bloom in adversity. It may be a tough market, but that’s exactly the time to invest in SRM. You need the power that different perspectives can bring to your organisation.

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