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5 reasons to go for supplier performance management

The management of supplier’s performance is now a necessity for business today. Due to the growing postmodern globalization of supply chains, organizations cannot afford to engage in simple transactions with their suppliers without tracking and evaluating their performance. They require more transparency and resulting control to manage the risks, enhance the innovation and accomplish the strategic objectives. This article examines five indispensably persuasive arguments why enterprises need to adopt a strong supplier performance management system.

1. Increased exposure

PPM solutions offer a detailed supplier database that includes capabilities, capacity, certifications, compliance standing, financial strength, etc. This analytical approach provides a well-defined picture of who these current and future suppliers in your supply chain actually are and what they offer.

This increased visibility helps in supply management decision making especially while selecting the supplier. There is a possibility to determine suitable suppliers’ lists depending on the categories of products/services needed. During the continued supplier interactions, performance assessments also identify areas of needed improvement that could be corrected through performance coaching.

SPM identifies biases and variances of both specific suppliers and supplier categories, it offers valuable information about the current supply base status. This makes it possible for the enterprises to realize that there are specific capabilities that require development or augmentation by integrating new supply to strategic objectives.

2. Risk Identification

Today’s SPM solutions are designed to employ sophisticated analytical tools with the intention of recognizing signs that suggest that risks concerning suppliers are i[type]. These could be some of the forms; delays, quality defects, non-conformity, financial troubles, conflict of interest at the suppliers’ end and the rest.  

Risk managers can hence identify high-risk incidents of raw material suppliers, investigate their potential causes, and take prompt corrective measures if needed by closely tracking supplier performance parameters. Preventive measures such as risk management help to mitigate and avoid disruption of the supply chain. It also involves suppliers in organisational objectives, creating a partnership form of procurement.

This is where SPM supplies the necessary data for contingency planning and to construct greater levels of business continuity. Future supply failures can be forecasted and future simulations can be used to evaluate them. This may be done by pre-qualifying backup suppliers that may be contracted to assume the production role. This strong preparation enables enterprises to counter or mitigate disruption risks of the supply chain.

3. Strategic alignment with suppliers

Typically, suppliers were viewed as merely vendors; distinct parties from which needed products or services were procured for tactical sourcing decisions. Conventional SPM solutions alter that view by enabling organizations to develop strategic buying relationships with suppliers.

It is also possible to develop joint scorecards with the help of internal stakeholders, as well as suppliers to state and monitor KPIs which are relevant to the strategies, such as sustainability, innovation, flexibility, etc. Besides, targets for the communication degree, feedback and relationship health, as well as improvement targets are also incorporated into the scorecards.

Implementation of scorecards means suppliers’ performance is constantly checked and is not limited to delivery and absorption of costs only. Companies’ suppliers turn into strategic partners in the achievement of ambitious strategic and operational goals related to vital organizational factors such as quality, customers’ satisfaction, product/service differentiation, emissions, etc.

4. Cost optimization and efficiency improvement

SPM solutions provide enterprises with insight into the spending patterns with their supply base through spend analysis and contract management compliance. Suppliers who consistently underperform may be called upon to offer their products at lower prices than their counterparts, thereby delivering competitor pricing levels to the company while, on the other hand, top performing suppliers may be given more volume to enable them realise scale economies.

Large global enterprises also can identify duplication of suppliers across their regions, and then concentrate the business with certain suppliers to have better bargaining power. Category management levers such as these also assist to achieve the optimal cost within the direct and indirect spend. The inclusion of SPM solutions also helps in simplification of the procurement work and reduction of cycle times for the operations.   

In addition to cost parameters, SPM solutions also monitor supply chain effectiveness in the form of logistics performance indices such as on-time deliveries, order fulfilment, perfect order rates and so on. Disparities in these parameters indicate that companies can work together with their suppliers to enhance their logistic strategy, inventory management, manufacturing pacing and or response time.

5. Innovative culture and the continuous improvement

One of the key strategies of high performers is to allocate adequate resources, time and efforts to enhance the R&D and technology for better products, services and processes. SPM solutions give a systematic way to avail this expert knowledge to the enterprises on an ongoing basis where key suppliers are engaged through supplier surveys, SPM innovation forums, ideation workshops as well as supplier of the year programs.

Every SPM scorecard supports joint business reviews, which allows for weak points, success stories, and experiences to be discussed. They encourage both, the buyers and the suppliers, to get more out of existing resources along with accelerated learning cycles. Such structured feedback also plays a significant role in promoting positive feedback culture in both organisations.

Suppliers are convinced by encouraging and rewarding performance to invest in collaboration with enterprises in developing valuable change solutions. Strategic suppliers could be directly included into new product development and quality engineering teams through some kind of contractual arrangements.


It is clearly seen that supplier procurement software practices have matured from isolated, strategic approaches to comprehensive Enterprise Supplier Management systems. These solutions have integrity and are based on sophisticated analytics to give a comprehensive view and management of supply chain risks and performance. However, even with the use of technology, this does not ensure that suppliers will have a successful run. This means that different departments need to cooperate to provide unclear key objectives for supplier management and develop a culture where suppliers are recognized as allies rather than only business partners. Combining technology with human efforts will bring the desired outcomes.

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