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Leaders in procurement champion Supplier Experience Management

World Procurement Congress 2022

Prominent members of the procurement community discuss why we should care about the supplier’s experience, at last week’s World Procurement Congress.

Four inspiring procurement and supply chain leaders advocated supplier-centricity, at Procurement Leaders’ World Procurement Congress 2022, which took place in London last week.

In a live session titled “Why you should care about your supplier’s experience”, speakers from leading CPG and shipping organizations took to the stage to discuss the virtues of Supplier Experience Management (SXM), and how to make the most of this growing movement.

As the name suggests, SXM is about managing the experience that suppliers have in working with buying organizations. The principle offers a feasible vehicle in which enterprises can better engage and collaborate with suppliers.

“Encouragingly we’re seeing leading organizations embrace this next evolution of supplier management,” explained Costas Xyloyiannis, CEO of the supplier experience management platform, HICX. He believes that as businesses build resilience amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and war in Ukraine, rethinking the way in which we work with suppliers, is a critical step.

To support this transformation, the necessary innovation ought to be driven by enterprises. But what does that mean in practice? What is a supplier-first mindset? And what does it achieve? Panelists from Henkel, Orkla, JTI and Maersk discussed this topic in detail. Here’s a snapshot of what they had to say:

  • Carmen Erhardt, Henkel’s director of corporate purchasing said, “Nowadays, we require much more data when it comes to areas such as sustainability, technical specifications, or pricing, for example. For too long, we’ve been doing that with emails and Excel sheets. That really cannot be the way forward. So, creating an amazing supplier experience is really a ‘must-do’ task.”
  • Adam Brown, Maersk’s procurement strategy & transformation lead said, “When we get into ESG, and we want to know about decarbonization, about diversity – there are more questionnaires from all different parts of the large enterprise. It’s simply confusing as a supplier. The requirements do not all come from Procurement, they come from across the business and in all different formats. So, we make it difficult for ourselves to interpret whatever does come back. If it’s frustrating for suppliers, then it’s frustrating internally as well and it’s just ripe for fixing”
  • Nils Andersson, Orkla’s head of strategic sourcing process said, “We are looking to streamline the way in which we work with suppliers. For us, supplier information management is core to achieving this and generating good data.”
  • Aleks Hajdas, JTI’s PTP program lead said, “It is important that we set our suppliers up for success – we need to ensure that we share the right information with the right people in the supplier organization.”

Multiple blue-chip brands, such as Mondelez, Unilever and Lenovo, are also rethinking supplier experience. “As the SXM movement continues to grow, we hope to see more enterprises with complex supply chains embrace these principles and drive mutual success,” Costas concludes.

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