An Interview on Building a Case for Supplier Information Management (SIM)
For this episode of the Supplier Experience Live podcast, we have repurposed our webinar with Stephane Sacherer on ‘End-to-end SIM Strategy: Building a Case for SIM’ into a shorter version of a podcast episode. Stephane is an Associate Director, Global Procure to Pay at Mondelez International. Mondelez sits among a class of leaders, who are putting supplier information management and supplier experience at the heart of their digital transformation.
The objectives of Supplier Information Management (SIM)
Stephane starts of the discussion by explaining the challenges Mondelez would have if they did not have a digital solution such as HICX’s Supplier Central to manage their suppliers’ data. He highlights the journey to a digital SIM solution does not start with acquiring one but identifying the gaps in the way supplier master data is managed. For example, one of the big obstacles for Mondelez was duplicate data which creates more challenges, “So, when we were trying to get the full information about where we stand with the supplier, we were not able to get that easily, so people had to look in a different system for information and then collect them together,” he states.
The extra workload is created as well, especially for large corporations, as the onboarding process for different for every country. “If you manage it very locally and manually it is creating a lot of error, it’s not giving us the guarantee that the information is correct and that we take every measure possible to reduce and remove the risk on the compliance side”, Stephane adds.
On the topic of data specifically, Stephane states, “The point is everybody in the company knows that it’s usually not as such, a system issue. Because you can have the best system in the world but if people are putting some crap information in it, you know you will get crap information at the end of it.” The way in which he advises to obtain a mandate for this problem is to talk about the pain points, and the way in which a SIM solution can help in alleviating them as likely all departments will be able to resonate with those issues.
Formulating a vision
Since adopting a digital SIM solution, Stephane says a lot of processes that were in the past done manually, are now completed automatically. As a result, they were able to formulate various KPI’s:
- Efficiency has improved as part of the workload has been automated
- Effectiveness: Mondelez was able to improve the accuracy of their data from the start, and keep it up to date
- End-to-end process: they were able to improve the speed of the entire end-to-end process, and reduce the time it takes to onboard suppliers from 2-3 weeks to under 2, with the goal being 1 week
- Adoption: Stephane states there are two parameters related to adoption. One is onboarding the supplier to the solution and making sure the old way is no longer in use while the second is for the suppliers to keep coming back to the tool, which will ensure the accuracy of data, among other things.
- Cost to serve: they were able to reduce supplier communication related costs
Stephane does note these metrics will be individual to every company depending on various factors and what their overall organizational goals are as well.
The importance of all stakeholders
As implementing a digital SIM solution is a massive project which will likely affect most, if not all, departments within an organization, it is vital all stakeholders are involved and aware of the changes which are to come. According to Stephan, in order for all of them to be on board with it, “make sure that they are part of the decision and the understanding of the benefits we would get out of the solution.”
He also stresses the importance of partnering with all stakeholders and communicating with them throughout the needs of everyone as, for example, a tax team from Brazil will have different requirements to those based in Canada or France.
Lastly, Stephan claims it is vital to support the stakeholders with the adoption of the new solution. “When you bring your solution, then there is massive change management because, of course, you know people are used to the solution or the manual solution, and then you want them to change their way of working. So, you need really to make sure that they are aware of the new solution, they understand the new solution and they use it,” he concludes.