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Work with vendors to improve supply chain visibility

Posted by Peter Needle

24-Nov-2015 17:00:00

Work with vendors to improve supply chain visibilityDisconnect between suppliers and retailers often hampers supply chain visibility. So how can companies work with their vendors to share relevant information and build positive working relationships? 

The right kind of supplier insight can transform supply chain visibility 

In a recent poll discussed in Supply Management, procurement specialists Proxima found that suppliers are commonly overlooked in the search for market insight. The study revealed that 58% of surveyed procurement professionals ask vendors for market insight. However, 81% fail to share this information to inform wider business decisions. 

Guy Strafford, chief client officer at Proxima, blames “a slight disconnect” between the information being collected from suppliers and the insight that business leaders require to make strategic decisions.

“Less mature procurement functions… often struggle to connect deeper supplier insights back into other business activities,” he explains.

If retailers fail to collect the right data, supplier insight will be lost entirely. Business leaders may look to external sources of information, which can include commodity pricing, currency volatility and media outlets. However, businesses then miss out on benefits such as supplier-led innovation, as well as improved flexibility and responsiveness.

Only 8% of those polled by Proxima admitted to not tracking the market at all. Clearly, this insight is widely accepted as an important influence on business decision making. So why don’t companies make more of an effort to track the market through their own suppliers?

Accessing supplier information is becoming increasingly vital 

“Get set for a collaborative approach among all stakeholders,” Ted Datta, strategic account director at Bureau van Dijk, recently claimed

Addressing a session at the CIPS Annual Conference, he argued that companies need to address growing regulatory pressures, such as the UK’s Modern Slavery Act and David Cameron’s opposition to corruption among foreign investors. 

“The money coming into London, where does it all come from?” Datta asked. The benefits of knowing your suppliers are growing bigger than ever. Large companies doing business in the UK must now report on steps taken to address the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains. What was once an ethical concern has now become a legislative requirement. 

However, having access to all the relevant supplier information is becoming more difficult. Many UK companies are becoming increasingly reliant on vendors in distant emerging economies. It can be difficult to communicate effectively across continents, and not many retailers have the resources available to manage their suppliers on a face-to-face basis. 

Get ready, get set, and collaborate 

How can companies achieve efficient supplier management in a cost effective manner? Well, Segura could be the perfect solution. 

Segura’s supply chain visibility software is based in the cloud, so it can be accessed by all approved parties using any mobile device. This means that retailers, suppliers and subcontractors all have access to the same real time information on relevant sourcing activities. 

Suppliers can self-register on the online platform once they meet the required standards set by the retailer. Segura’s easy-to-use interface minimises the need for extensive user training or gradual implementation. Our supply chain visibility solution also operates an innovative transaction-based pricing model, so retailers only pay for what they use. 

Most importantly, Segura effortlessly manages a diverse supplier base, and collects a wealth of valuable vendor information. Our software platform automatically logs and monitors every order fulfilled by your approved suppliers and subcontractors. Retailers can then analyse this data to monitor performance and gain a greater level of supply chain visibility.

 

How to report on modern slavery in the supply chain

Topics: supply chain transparency