A new Chief Procurement Officer’s 100 day plan to review Supplier Management

Author: Alan Day, Chairman and Founder / Matthew Shaw, Senior Consultant / Emma Bramble, Analyst

The Crucial Role of a 100-Day Supplier Management Review for a New Chief Procurement Officer

Stepping into the role of Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) is both an honour and a challenge. The success of a CPO can significantly impact the organisation's bottom line, efficiency, and overall competitiveness. Recognising the importance of Supplier Management, a new CPO should prioritise a 100-day plan to review and strengthen these crucial relationships from the outset, aiming to position procurement as the "customer of choice," as emphasised in State of Flux's annual Supplier Management research.


The Strategic Imperative of Supplier Management:

Supplier Relationship Management goes beyond mere transactional interactions. It is a strategic approach to managing an organisation's interactions with its suppliers, aiming to extract maximum value, innovation, and performance from these vital partnerships. Given the intricate web of dependencies in today's global business landscape, an effective Supplier Management strategy is indispensable for sustained success.


The 100-Day Plan: A Strategic Blueprint for Supplier Management Review:

The following 10 points are key activities to undertake in the CPO’s first 100 days:


  1. Discovery: Understanding the Foundation

In the initial phase, gaining insights into the organisation's structure, culture, and strategic goals is paramount. Familiarising oneself with key products and services and identifying suppliers crucial to their delivery provides a foundational understanding. Reviewing existing supplier management policies, procedures, and assessing the alignment of the Procurement & Supplier Management strategy with organisational goals sets the stage for the comprehensive review.


  1. Spend Management: Maximising Control and Influence

Understanding the organisation's budget allocations for Procurement and Supplier Management is essential. Analysing the influence Procurement exercises over spending and reviewing top supplier contracts, evaluating metadata extraction and alignment with Procurement & Supplier Management metrics and strategy, ensures effective spend management.


  1. Engagement: Building Collaborative Ecosystems

Mapping key internal and external stakeholders and engaging with board members, executives, procurement teams, and key business leaders are critical steps. Gathering insights into current supplier management challenges and opportunities fosters collaborative ecosystems.


  1. Supplier Management: Enhancing Efficiency

Identifying critical and key suppliers impacting products or services and evaluating existing Supplier Management tools, technologies, and risk management processes are key components. Reviewing category strategies, supply chain mapping, and aligning performance metrics contribute to enhancing efficiency.


  1. Segmentation: Strategic Focus for Optimisation

Uncovering previous segmentation attempts and refining criteria to match business strategy are key for strategic focus and optimisation.


  1. Competency Assessment: Empowering Skills

Evaluating skills and competencies in Supplier Management and determining the gap between current knowledge and the ideal state shape a plan for training or upskilling.


  1. Voice of the Supplier: Understanding Customer-of-Choice Status

Providing input into the Voice of the Supplier question set, approving supplier participants focusing on those vital to the organisation, and reviewing the report to extract key data supporting the need for change and value proposition ensures an understanding customer-of-choice status and what to do to improve it.


  1. Creating Value Proposition: Setting the Strategic Direction

Defining Supplier Management for the organisation and establishing a value proposition based on collected data, developing a business case, roadmap/action plan, elevator pitch, and steering committee contribute to setting the strategic direction.


  1. Enablers: Strategic Leadership and Integration

Assigning a Head of Supplier Management or Supplier Management Leader to lead strategic initiatives and formulating a plan to integrate optimisation efficiencies linked to technology, processes, and governance are enablers for success.


  1. Output: Crafting a Vision for Future Success

Establishing a clear vision for the future, providing a framework for obtaining greater value from supplier relationships, concludes the 100-day plan.


The Ripple Effect of an Effective Supplier Management Review:

A well-executed 100-day plan for Supplier Management sets the stage for transformative leadership in procurement. By prioritising relationships over transactions, a new CPO can position the procurement function as a strategic driver of innovation and efficiency. The benefits extend beyond cost savings to include enhanced agility, reduced risk, and increased competitiveness.

From State of Flux's annual Supplier Management research, we know that becoming the "customer of choice" is paramount. This involves consistently delivering value, building strong relationships with suppliers, and fostering a reputation for fair and transparent dealings. Becoming the customer of choice enhances collaboration, innovation, and overall supply chain efficiency.

In the dynamic landscape of modern business, the role of Chief Procurement Officer is more crucial than ever. Recognising Supplier Management as a linchpin for success, a new CPO's strategic imperative should be to initiate a 100-day plan to review and fortify these critical partnerships. By doing so, the CPO lays the foundation for a procurement function that not only manages costs but also drives innovation, resilience, and sustained competitive advantage. The first 100 days set the tone for transformative leadership, and a robust Supplier Management strategy is at the heart of this strategic vision.


To download and print the 100 day plan, click here.

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