When it comes to crafting effective strategic sourcing programs, less-mature companies tend to be more technically and scientifically focused, Jordan says. Their emphasis is on getting product to market, or preparing for an initial public offering. As a result, they can lose sight of valuable opportunities for improving and optimizing supplier relations.
The poor state of the economy makes it even more vital that companies get a grip on their sourcing efforts. They need to be scrutinizing the financial condition of suppliers, whose unanticipated failure can have serious consequences for buyers. With the growth of outsourcing, it becomes essential that companies become more involved in oversight and contract management.
Risk management is taking on a greater role in strategic sourcing efforts today, says Jordan. "Risk is a big part of what supply-chain management does. "You have to look at suppliers before they're selected." But proper oversight goes well beyond the initial stages of a contract. Risk-assessment, says Jordan is a continuous process. Supplier performance should be measured on a regular basis.
The various parties involved in strategic sourcing need to come together to achieve a single system that adheres to company preferences for the purchase of products and services. Commodity and supplier managers should know how to put together effective requests for information, and engage in a total-cost-of-ownership analysis. The regulatory and quality sides of the organization should also be kept in the loop, Jordan says.
Effective sourcing is about more than just price. A supplier manager might be addressing the company's needs over the next quarter or year, but the strategic sourcing group should also be looking two to five years in the future, to ensure a supplier's long-term viability. Companies need to ensure that they're "going in the right direction to support that total cost," says Jordan.
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Keywords: supply chain, supply management, supply chain planning, sourcing solutions, supply chain risk management, strategic sourcing
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