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Nothing tests the strength of your supplier relationships like a global pandemic, the breadth and depth of these relationships being put to the test and has forced us to immediately, and critically, examine our partnerships with our suppliers generally.

This was the subject of EPSA’s Hot Topic in July 2021, something which Charlie Hollis, SA Power Networks, Dan Boulton, AusNet Services, Vicky Katsabaris, Qualtrics and Christoph Guettinger from SAP all share a passion for and their criticality to the business.

“Good supplier relationship management matters because it is about seeking optimum performance and value from an integral part of your business network. Relationships are crucial in business, and the better any enterprise becomes at building them, the bigger the benefits are”

As part of its largest operating contract Vegetation Management Services, Charlie discussed how SAPN focused on a strategic supplier relationship with their partner, setting up a contract for sharing the benefits through an innovation committee.

Dan Boulton from AusNet discussed their SRM journey so far including a partnership they entered into with State of Flux to run an SRM programme of work in 2016 and was integrated as part of a Procurement Excellence Programme in 2019 and evolved into the design of a Strategic Partnerships Framework approved by their executive targeted at unlocking additional value from SRM.

Vicky and Christoph discussed a solution they have worked on to help organisations with supplier experience management. Conversation focused on how organisations are going to drive growth over the next decade, as per the below SAP highlighting they believe that experiences are the next frontier of competitive advantage.

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A common approach to SRM segments suppliers into Strategic, Operational, Transactional and Emerging and Diverse, with the majority of highly constrained SRM efforts invested into the few and most strategic supplier relationships. This can mean that high-impact opportunities such as process improvement, supplier-led innovation and CSR are missed across a large number of less strategic, but yet important suppliers.”

EPSA members can access the hot topics video and the supporting presentation by logging into the website.

The Importance Of Effective Supplier Relationship Management, The importance of effective supplier relationship management – Pay4