Supplier reports can be a window into the performance of a category and the opportunities that lie ahead. Because of a bigger push in developing long relationships, many suppliers are now providing some type of reporting. They realize that reporting is a key part of account management and that it helps solidify this relationship. Suppliers are even more aware of how simple efforts such as customization or in person presentations of the reporting can make a big difference for their clients. However, suppliers still need guidance on what is important to your company and how to best present it. You need to set objectives on what you want to gain from reports and voice these to suppliers so they can provide appropriate data. This is just the start to getting the most out of your supplier reports.
How do you Compare? Reports can tell you about individual performance as well as group performance. You should look for comparative metrics and measurements on how you are doing and what can be done to improve, but it is always helpful to see where you are relative to others.
Auditing While reporting is usually provided by the supplier, auditing allows you to take initiative in evaluating your program, spend and supplier performance. If reporting is limited and focuses solely on spend, auditing can provide deeper insight into achievement of service level agreements and other performance factors. Also, reporting might only be provided a few times a year, whereas auditing can occur more frequently.
Reporting through Business Reviews If your company participates in a supplier business review, this may be the only time that you receive reporting. The goal of the meeting is to see how your organization has been spending and determine what can be done differently to save more money.
A Go Forward Strategy Reporting, and the tools and software used to compile the reports, will continue to evolve and play an important part in your interaction and business with suppliers. Effective reporting presents a great opportunity for collaborative efforts to strengthen both your program and your supplier’s program.