In an enterprise, stakeholders rely on the value provided by suppliers to perform their jobs. If the suppliers they rely on fumble more often than not, stakeholder effectiveness will be limited. As such, the role of Procurement transcends simple cost savings. To win, Procurement must procure suppliers that consistently deliver stakeholder expectations.

In discussions with supply chain stewards (procurement, sourcing, vendor management), we learned that stakeholders don’t always cooperate. Most only provide feedback when major issues arise. In many cases, the feedback only comes from select individuals.

This leaves supplier relationship managers with a limited comprehension of what value really means, and thus challenges to:
  • Compare supplier performance
  • Make timely single sourcing decisions
  • Drive supplier performance improvement plans
  • Encourage more meaningful collaboration between suppliers and internal stakeholders

The goal is to increase the value provided by suppliers. (more on that here) Doing so requires insight into the minds and opinions of stakeholders. Hence the need to engage internal stakeholders. To do so, try the following:

  • Own the supplier performance feedback process.
    • Suppliers shouldn’t own the process, because they’re not positioned to be objective. Nor should Stakeholders own it, as they exists for a different set of performance goals. As owner of the relationship, supply chain stewards are best positioned to objectively track supplier performance.
  • Standardize the process.
    • By using a consistent approach to evaluate supplier performance, insights to strengthen the supply chain can be identified and implemented faster. (more on that here)
  • Simplify the process.
    • Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate things. At the end of the day, stakeholders are people, and people have expectations. So ask yourself, when does a simple question like “Did the supplier meet your expectations?” warrant customization?
  • Automate the process.