Points of View

The Rise of Supplier Relationship Management

Feb 8, 2017 Derk Erbé Barbra McGann

In our recent research, including facilitated discsussion at the HfS Summits, and 10 one-on-one interviews, business, sourcing, IT, and operations executives recognize the strategic value of building deeper relationships with their most important suppliers and want to invest in a methodical approach. However, we see very few integrated, comprehensive and structured supplier relationship management programs. It’s like baking a cake. If you forget to add the flour or water, you’ll notice immediately. Supplier relationship management is like salt. Forget the salt in your cake and you’ll have a cake, just not as good a cake as you could’ve had… Supplier relationship management typically falls off the list of priorities when something that’s deemed more critical to its business or IT owner comes along. To stick with the cake analogy; the cake is eatable, so serve it up and move on… unless or until someone chokes on it.


This PoV takes a pulse on and shares examples of the state of business and supplier management operating models, governance, and talent – how it is working today, what’s changing, and how.

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