I attended the 62nd annual Purchasing & Supply Chain Management Seminar at Michigan State University. A week of collaboration with professors and senior-level business leaders from companies including: Crown Equipment, US Postal Service, Raytheon, Johnson Controls, Texas Instruments, DuPont, John Deere, Intermountain Healthcare, Corning, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Rolls-Royce, Facebook and more.

Attendees traveled the globe – Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Utah, California, New York, Colorado, Ohio, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Utah, Delaware, Philippines, Germany, China, Malaysia, and India. Collectively, we explored, debated and benchmarked how to achieve competitive supply chain advantage. I learned how to  more easily:

  1. Guide Suppliers
  2. Keep work pertinent Information Flowing
  3. Pursue Preferential Supplier Treatment
Here are the details:
  1. Guide Your Suppliers. Suppliers are an extension of the enterprise. In order to win, enterprises must guide suppliers on how to contribute efficiently. But to do so, the contractual relationship owner (Procurement) must have the right tools – including supplier evaluation and assessment capabilities. The key is to eliminate processes that yield too many spreadsheets in too many places.
  2. Keep work pertinent Information Flowing. Enterprises are data rich, but their feedback systems (excel, PPT, email) tend to restrict institutional know-how. This delays suppliers awareness of their performance gaps, limiting their ability to impart their full suite of capabilities. But by understanding the risks of low stakeholder-supplier alignment, enterprises can break the cycle of lower than expected supplier value. This will increase progress towards becoming a customer of choice.
  3. Pursue Preferential Treatment. If cost saving efforts yield average pay to your suppliers, then you’ll receive at best average value, and your customers will notice. For context, GM was saving the most amount of money just as they were entering bankruptcy. To gain preferential treatment, champion activities that drive maximum supplier productivity. It’s as simple as helping suppliers understand strategically where you’re going as a business, and determining how they can help you get there.
I gotta tell ya … this seminar was worthwhile on multiple fronts:
  1. Validation of product-market fit. A senior executive from a global industry leader shared their internally developed supplier alignment system. The efficiencies getSayDo can provide to companies relying on internal systems are plentiful.
  2. Roadmap Calibration. Supplier alignment is essential across categories, management levels, geographies, and stakeholder business roles. Documentation is essential to realize the full profit increasing opportunities tied to supplier relationships. Knowing ‘why’ makes it 10X easier for our team to ensure the relevance of existing and future features delivered via the getSayDo platform.
  3. Choppin’ wood w/ winners. The procurement function is really a champion for increased profits via productivity. But in many companies, non-supply chain functions have little, if any, idea of the opportunities that exists to drive bottom-line growth via supplier relationships. As such, it’s cool to chop wood at getSayDo and deliver tangible solutions that yield competitive supply chain advantage.
R U A Wood Chopper?

R U A Wood Chopper?