April 21, 2014

3rd Annual Supplier Management Survey Results

“Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say”
– William W. Watt

Last month, HICX Solutions completed their 3rd Annual Supplier Management Survey. With 174 participating organizations, the results were intriguing, insightful in come cases, and just plain odd in others.

Those that participated will receive the full results within the next few days – yet, here, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a small sampling of the data results.

On the topic of Centers of Excellence…

When asked if their organization employs a “Center of Excellence” to bridge the cross-functional supplier management needs…



Upon segmenting by organizational size (revenue/turnover), the ratio significantly changes (21%) for those organizations under $1b in revenue, where those over $1b in revenue have only a slight change from the average (12%).

                         Under $1b in revenue:


                        Over $1b in revenue:


 On the topic of viewing suppliers as a strategic advantage…

When asked if they agree their organization views how they manage suppliers as a strategic advantage, a whopping 80% agreed…


However, within only those organizations that either Strongly Agreed, or Agreed, that their organization views their management of suppliers as a strategic advantage:

  • 39% do not scorecard their suppliers;
  • 35% do not, or cannot, manage their suppliers at the relationship-level; and,
  • 22% only partially manage their suppliers at the relationship-level.

 On the topic of time use…

 When asked what percentage of time, on average, is spent by employees searching for, or collecting, miscellaneous supplier information, such as: W8/W9, Certificate of Insurance, Contracts, etc.


Yet, for those organizations where the Supply Chain organization has governance over the Supplier Master, the percentages of employee’s time spent on these activities increases significantly.


 On the topic of Master Data Management…

 When asked if their organization has invested in a Master Data Management solution…



Of those organizations that have invested in Master Data Management solution, 92% incorporate supplier master data – leaving 62% of organizations without a system to enforce supplier master data governance.

 On the topic of upcoming investments…

 When asked what their organization is most likely to invest in within the next 12 months, Supplier Information Management (SIM) led the charge, while Spend Analytics did not make the list.


 Upon segmenting the organizations by revenue/turnover, what an organization is planning to invest in starts to underscore the complexity, and/or maturity, of the purchasing organization. Further, only SIM and MDM span the spectrum of organizations.

Revenue/ Turnover

Supplier Information Mgmt.

Contract Mgmt.

Master Data Mgmt.

Compliance Mgmt.

eRFx / Reverse Auction







$1b to $10b






$10b to $50b






$50b to $100b












Hopefully you have found some of these statistics insightful. Though one cannot take statistics out of context, if even directionally accurate, we are seeing some interesting year-over-year trends within Supplier Management.



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