Tips from Corporate United’s Regional Meeting in Chicago

Tips from Corporate United’s Regional Meeting in Chicago The topic of Corporate United’s fall regional meeting was supplier relationship managemen

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The topic of Corporate United’s fall regional meeting was supplier relationship management (SRM). The meeting presented a best practice working session to address the main drivers that shape an effective SRM program. The meeting explored the different deployment techniques being utilized by the three companies that presented at the event; the presenters included:

Craig Meadors, vice president, enterprise operations, CNA Financial

Rueben Slone, executive vice president, supply, OfficeMax

Mark J. Power, senior vice president, sourcing solutions, Xchanging Procurement Services

A few of the meeting take-a-ways included:

1. Collaboration.
Both parties [the supplier and customer] must have a strong belief in the power of collaboration in order for the relationship to have meaning and drive results.

2. Commitment.
SRM takes time, so it’s essential that both organizations have made a commitment to invest significant time and resources in the relationship.

3. Mutual benefits.
If done efficiently, the collaboration between suppliers and their customers will deliver mutual beneficial results through availability, working capital, and cost.

4. Buy-in.
Getting senior management’s support is important for SRM; in order to get to that point, one must clearly outline the benefits before asking for buy in.

5. Value.
Even small supplier partnerships have the opportunity for growth, but customers have to determine if the supplier relationship is worthy of an SRM program before they invest the time.