The 4 Elements of Supplier Information Management

Complete and comprehensive Supplier Information Management (SIM) hinges on 4 major elements: Data, Controls, Functions and Analytics.  Without all four of these elements in place you cannot maintain supplier information at world-class levels.

Supplier Information Management 4 Elements

To better understand what is at stake, let’s look a little more closely at each element and discuss what they mean to your larger supplier information management effort:

  • Data: Data is the core element for any process, and a successful SIM solution ensures the highest possible collection of accurate supplier data (and documents).  Upon the delivery of accurate and up-to-date data every process will improve.
  • Controls: As a major element of collecting data, a proper SIM solution will manage supplier data against a client’s desired workflows, internal controls and external regulations while accounting for all divisions and regions and with respect to the client’s global/local needs
  • Functions:  A world class SIM solution offers an integrated method for using supplier data that has been collected by supporting all of the company’s necessary data-related functions such as: campaign management, data syndication, integration and more.
  • Analytics:  Beyond collecting and moving data across an organization a SIM solution provides a transparent view of data through advanced queries and drill down capabilities.  A world-class SIM solution will also offer score carding and robust reporting

A Foundation of Data Quality

The four elements listed above define a complete and world-class Supplier Information Management solution.  A true SIM solution built in this image is absolutely crucial in the pursuit of transactional and operational excellence throughout your organization.  Creating the strongest possible foundation of data (through SIM) drives millions of dollars back to your organization by helping you to avoid costs, abate fines, reduce risk, drive savings, reduce errors, support initiatives and much more.

Consider also that almost any problem you may experience because of low quality supplier information (which keeps you from maximizing your P2P process) will always stem from a breakdown in one of these four crucial elements listed above: Data, Controls, Functions and Analytics.  Supplier information shortfalls occur when: data is not successfully collected; controls are not properly enforced;  functions are not available to users, or end-users do not have access to reports and analytics to make better decisions.

A Mindset for SIM Success

It is crucial for all P2P professionals to think about SIM from the ground up and contemplate the impact that accurate (and available) supplier data would have on your environment.  More importantly P2P professionals need to think about the cost of having a limited SIM solution.  Without all four elements in place you will not have a scale-able SIM solution in place.

Most solutions available in the marketplace only borrow the three-letter “SIM” acronym without actually delivering the four major elements.  As a result, they deliver a supplier information management solution that offers only a partial benefit.  Think about it, how many service providers in the P2P market place sell transactional tools and also offer a SIM module?  Be very careful working with a SIM solution that is only a smaller module in a larger suite.  SIM is a complex process which hinges on a number of unique functions like mass outreach, workflows, validations just to name a few.  Any provider treating the management of supplier information as a module is certainly falling short in one of the four major elements.