16 Jun 16

Six pillars for successful SRM (Part 2)

Six pillars for successful SRM (Part 2)


Getting cross-functional engagement and support  

It’s difficult to think of a business process or activity that is more cross-functional then supplier relationship management. Most, if not everybody in the business will use products or services provided by third party suppliers. Many of those people will interact with those suppliers and form part of the relationship your company has with them. Therefore in order to affect any significant change in the way those relationships are managed a vast number of people or stakeholders will need to be engaged.

There are three main groups of stakeholders you need to engage to ultimately become strong and active supporters of SRM.

1. C-level executives

2. Business and operational colleagues

3. Suppliers

The C-level need to be convinced of the value proposition

Firstly, we look at the senior management and executive population. Important amongst this group are the so called C-level. This relatively small group are highly influential as company strategists, decision makers, and budget holders and probably most important of all, the people the rest of the organisation will look to for leadership. This group, more than any other will need to be convinced of the value proposition.

Business and operational colleagues will need to buy in to new ways of working

The second stakeholder group we consider are business and operational colleagues. These are the large number of people across the company who in some way interact with suppliers on a regular basis. They will range from the consumers of product or services to those responsible for defining, planning and ordering requirements, to the procurement teams that run tendering processes and negotiate contracts to those responsible for quality assurance, product development etc.

Suppliers must see value in SRM

The third group to focus on are suppliers. Often overlooked as genuine stakeholders in the SRM enterprise their strong and active support is vital. They must be able to see SRM as representing an opportunity and be incentivised to contribute.

If you’re implementing SRM, here are some key activities you need to be working on which relate to getting stakeholder engagement and support for SRM:

  • Stakeholder identification and mapping
  • Creation of a SRM stakeholder communications and management plan
  • Pro-active and ongoing stakeholder engagement
  • Supplier engagement via a Voice of the Supplier study

As mentioned in part 1 this pillar is strongly linked to business drivers and value but it is also the key that will unlock the activities in the remaining four pillars. Furthermore it will not only be vital to getting an SRM programme up and running but also sustaining it and maximising the value created.

In the next blog we will examine the governance and processes required which will act as the backbone of your supplier relationship management framework.

If you would like to learn more about stakeholder engagement and support and how this model could be applied to your supplier relationship management programme please contact:

Mel Shutes (mel.shutes@stateofflux.co.uk) or the State of Flux team enquires@stateofflux.co.uk

Complete the 2016 SRM survey