Training for procurement and supply chain professionals

State of Flux’s training for procurement and supply chain professionals is designed to address the required blend of technical capabilities, behavioural and collaborative skills that procurement practitioners need to manage suppliers and the category management process effectively.

The training includes:

Supplier relationship management (SRM) and operational excellence training

In this training, we explain the tools, techniques and processes needed to drive SRM at an operational level. The training enables you to better define what good SRM looks like and how it relates to post-contract management and supplier performance management (SPM) approaches. You get a deep appreciation of best-in-class SRM governance, process and tools, and are ready to operationalise SRM in your organisation.

The key topics covered in our SRM and operational excellence training are:

  • Defining what good practice looks like in six key areas: stakeholder engagement and support; governance and process; people and skills; tools and systems; business drivers and value; and relationship characteristics.
  • Business drivers and value: taking a ‘customer + supplier’ approach to address waste and inefficiency in the supply chain. Incentivising and motivating suppliers to generate new value.
  • Building an SRM vision and strategy that gains maximum stakeholder engagement and support from executives, functional stakeholders and suppliers.
  • Governance and process excellence: ownership of governance and cross-functional alignment; supply base segmentation considerations; using a governance framework with strategic suppliers; and using process to capture, filter and develop selected supplier ideas and innovations.
  • Process toolkits and templates to evaluate risk; create joint account plans; track joint performance using balanced scorecards and 360-degree feedback; report progress; and facilitate workshops.
  • Tools and systems: best practice use of tools and systems in managing supplier relationships.

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Managing supplier relationships – inside the account manager’s head training

To proactively develop business-to-business relationships with key suppliers, it is essential to be able to decode the motivations, drivers and methods used by the account manager, the account team members and other players in a supplier’s organisation. In this training, we reveal how a supplier’s key account management team operates, and teach the skills needed to develop the business relationship and take the lead in creating value and building a customer of choice position.

Using a live supplier as your case study, we teach you how to:

  • Develop supplier IQ in order to know the account team at a deeper level
  • Broaden the focus beyond the mechanics of supplier management to proactively find opportunities to release more supplier value
  • Use behaviours that manage and facilitate the supplier relationship more proactively, owning the relationship and overseeing the business interactions they have with all stakeholders
  • Appreciate the sales perspective on pricing, bundling and margin, and use these to influence discussions around price, value and total cost of ownership
  • Engage and influence the account team (and your internal stakeholders) to build better rapport, surface true intentions, and develop the supplier relationship based on trust and collaboration
  • Keep suppliers motivated, aligned to your goals and performing, especially in medium and long term service contracts
  • Achieve a balance between challenging performance, using constructive tension, and maintaining and developing the relationship to build a customer of choice position

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Stimulating and managing supplier innovation training

Supplier innovation is an important output of best-in-class supplier relationship management  (SRM) because it creates the potential to realise new and unexpected value from a relationship. This training equips the supplier relationship manager with the skills for stimulating innovation; a framework for managing innovation; and the tools and techniques for facilitating joint ideation with their suppliers to create new, unanticipated value for both parties.

The course covers:

  • Is innovation an option?
  • Pre-selecting and qualifying suppliers for innovation.
  • The context for managing innovation:
    • Identifying different types of innovation and the leverage they provide
    • Understanding and balancing potential value and risk within an innovation portfolio
    • Routine versus focused innovation and the danger of creating ‘yesterday’s solution’
    • How suppliers fit into the innovation eco-system.
  • The supplier-generated process – using a five-step process for managing supplier-sourced ideas and innovations:
  1. The idea funnel
  2. Prioritisation model
  3. Innovation mix
  4. Innovation reviews
  5. Using lenses and filters.
  • A management process for taking the best ideas forward.
  • Taking the business case forward – compelling requirements and examples.

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Advanced communication skills and supplier relationship management (SRM)

Communication skills play an important part in creating open, productive dialogue, promoting deeper understanding and opening up collaboration with suppliers. Using authentic influence, building trust and leading cross-business teams are also key to unlocking the full and mutual value of a strategic supplier relationship.

This training will teach:

  • Key skills for commercial coaching – reading people, using insightful questions and building trust
  • Leading cross-functional and cross-business virtual teams
  • Written communications skills that create clarity and provoke dialogue
  • Presentation skills that build commitment and support

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Managing supply chain risk training

The ability to ensure the health and security of a supply chain is vital to the performance of an organisation. It has therefore become an increasingly sought-after skill in an environment where interruptions to the supply chain can have highly detrimental effects. By analysis and discussion of real-life scenarios, this training enables you to acquire the knowledge and skills required to identify, assess and deal with risk in your supply chain.

It enables you to:

  • Develop your knowledge of risk management processes to deliver and maintain a robust supply chain
  • Broaden your focus to build a comprehensive assessment of risk and define acceptable levels
  • Set action plans to maintain continuity of supply
  • Define and manage responsibility for risk within the supply chain

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