Supplier Enablement: One of the top 3 challenges according to Aberdeen

Aberdeen LogoSupplier Enablement is one of my favorite topic. To my eyes, it goes much beyond a deployment of a e-catalogue-based procurement-process and ‘flirt’ with the ‘good-old-magic’ « plug and play extended-enterprise » concept, which is the end-game of successful B2B ASP/SAAS applications.

Andrew Bartolini, research director at Aberdeen, just released a new report about Supplier Enablement (with regards to Sourcing and Procurement). This report is made available to the public, in part, by the underwriting support of Ketera, SciQuest, American Express, and Aravo Solutions. A complimentary copy of « Supplier Enablement: Connecting with Suppliers to Build Lasting Relationships » is available at: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3985

The report is worth reading, especially to grab what Supplier Enablement means from a added-value and tool perspective:

1. Best-in-Class enterprises in Supplier Enablement are excelling in many performance metrics, such as:

  • They place 78% of their spend under management, 56% more than other companies
  • Enabling over half of their supply base, compared to the 23% of their peers
  • Realize transaction-processing costs 47% lower than all others as a result of enabling their suppliers ~14$

2. Best-in-Class companies have implemented following winning practices:

  • Supplier information management systems
  • Online survey tools to capture objective and subjective data
  • Supplier networks and portals for self-service entry of information
  • Automated spend data classification, enrichment, analysis, and reporting tools
  • Management dashboards to provide overview of supplier enablement activities and metrics
  • XML and other web-based protocols to enrich supplier communication

3. Basic actions are required to successfully initiate a Supplier Enablement program:

  • Standardize processes which leverage leading technologies (e.g., XML vs. EDI) and 3rd party services (e.g., supplier networks)
  • Include suppliers in enablement process; leverage their experience and technologies to ensure collaborative and efficient interactions during enablement and through the lifetime of the relationship.

Think ‘Supplier Enablement’ as a full and robust plug and play capability (including technology-based decision-helping tools, process standards etc…), enabling you to know real-time your supplier performance and to technically switch to another-one overnight; Then you’ll have the full picture.

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