SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) is to Procurement what CRM is to Sales: a tool that manages flows of information and data to take care of everything to do with suppliers (information, selections…). With SRM, businesses’ procurement mechanisms have been optimised and secured for greater conformity.
The procurement department is faced with numerous challenges. In addition to always looking for savings, there are also challenges tied to supplier risk, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), or simply collaborate with suppliers.
A true “highway” for procurement data, an SRM is the ultimate tool for buyers confronted with all these challenges, which are so central to businesses. It makes it possible to establish a framework, control the flow of information and harmonise knowledge on suppliers between all employees. It also makes it possible to streamline costs at the production level as well as administrative processes.
The main SRM functions relate to:
- Suppliers selection
- Suppliers risk Management
- Managing supplier data
- Managing development plans
- Quality control and incident management
- Improving internal and external collaboration
Introducing a frame of reference of this nature within large companies and large groups is a major challenge, which involves implementing a specific tool. The SRM should allow the procurement department to keep different types of data on the suppliers, and be able to consolidate these data and share them with the right people within the business. At the same time, in the context of tracking contracts, the system must also allow up-to-date, reliable external data to be combined with information gathered by employees who are in contact with the suppliers, whatever their post and wherever they are.
Synertrade’s SRM solutions have been designed with this in mind: they concentrate external data from databases, sorting and “cleaning” this data to keep only what is useful to the business as it seeks out and chooses suppliers. The tool can integrate for example business performance over three years or its official valuations, through partnerships with service providers like Bureau Van Dijk and Dun&Bradstreet. These data are complemented by the data the employees add over the course of their day-to-day interactions with the supplier. Repetitive tasks that can be automated are taken on and processed by the system, while employees in procurement, as well as in accounting and sales, only carry out tasks with high added value in their respective fields. Beyond the gain in performance, the information system makes it possible to facilitate clients’ transition towards efficiency and flexibility. Because they mean going paperless, SRM tools allow buyers and other employees to be mobile. This means buyers can manage tasks with low added value more easily during times that used to be unproductive (when travelling for example), and can focus on high value added tasks like seeking out innovation instead.