In 11 years’ of research, State of Flux has demonstrated one very consistent feature of the way organisations manage relationships with suppliers: they fail to invest in technology. In the decade that has seen an explosion in business-ready cloud-based software such as Salesforce.com and HubSpot, it is remarkable that for 86% of organisations, the main software for managing information about supplier relationships is Microsoft Excel.
The best supplier relationships build value for both parties. The worst end up in court. That’s where car rental company Hertz found itself with Accenture. It had waited three years for the global consultancy firm to build a new website and mobile apps it was happy with.
Businesses are starting to accept the idea of supplier relationship management (SRM) – a strategic effort to understand suppliers and treat them according to their importance to the business. Last year, State of Flux’s research found the most important business drivers for implementing SRM are cost reduction or avoidance (54%), risk management and reduction (52%) and supplier innovation (43%).