COVID has shown businesses how reliant they are on their supply chains and how badly things can go wrong if their supply chain is not resilient, or they have poor communication and relationships with their suppliers.
This system shock has refocused organizations towards improving their supplier relationships and the ways in which they engage with them.
The events of 2020 showed the dependency large organizations have on their supply chain, and its fragility.
Costas Xyloyiannis, CEO of HICX
HICX’s survey asked 100 senior procurement professionals in leading organizations about their function’s vision and where they are at now.
Data management and onboarding of new suppliers remains a significant obstacle for procurement teams. The majority of these issues appear to stem from the manual handling of data. A modern slick platform should be built with integrated systems to handle the onboarding process. The majority of the survey respondents believe it should be really easy and effortless for their suppliers to update them on changes to their information or data, although the survey revealed the average time to onboard a new supplier was between 15-28 days (63% of organizations surveyed). This time period typically grows with the size of the organization. There is clear room for improvement on this front e.g., enterprises with a turnover of over $10 billion onboard suppliers in an average of 29-60 days.
The report also presents finding that organizations are not spending enough time focussing on supply chain relationship management. This can present issues when companies want to develop a strong relationship for mutual success with a supplier. Therefore, a top focus for organizations should be shifting their focus away from cash generation which appears to be the main culprit stealing time and better utilise time improving relationship management. For example, only 3% of respondents listed improving service levels for suppliers / supplier satisfaction as a top 3 priority.
‘The real challenge here is, there is no owner of the supplier experience. That means, for a start, that organizations do not see that they have a supplier experience problem. And, if there is no ownership, there is no way that the problem can be fixed.’
Costas Xyloyiannis, CEO of HICX
The HICX survey identified 6 critical obstacles to Supplier Experience Management. The most common obstacle, according to the HICX survey, is accommodating regional or local requirements, with 82% of respondents agreeing on this point. In addition to this, sub-standard data quality is still a significant barrier. This can also link to the issue of inter-departmental communication or lack thereof.
Looking to the future, organizations are trying to mitigate these common issues by attempting to provide a best-in-class experience for their suppliers, this in the current market is essential to remain competitive.
6 Key Supplier Experience Management actions
- Improve data management and integration timeframes with suppliers
- Enhance focus on supply chain relationship management
- Reduce the disparity between regional and local requirement and ensure the different needs are clearly presented to avoid future issues
- Decrease the amount of manual processes in the supplier experience
- Improve interdepartmental communication to better aid information sharing
- Improve the skillset in the organization for data analysis