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Supplier Relationship Management at SDI

Last month, we prefaced this article with defining Supplier Relationship Management and it’s 5 Primary Tasks. For additional background information, read last month's article.

Supplier Agnostic Approach

SDI maintains a brand and supplier neutral approach within our sourcing & purchasing activities in order to align with the needs of our clients across a wide spectrum of industries and with varying and distinctive needs within each of their areas of operation.  Whether that be unique product manufacturing activities across a set of client locations or the need to service more than a thousand independent schools with unique requirements. 
 
With this complexity there is a need for a varied and extensive supplier network. SDI currently maintains approximately 6k supplier relationships in order to meet the needs of our clients. This provides our clients with access to the items they need, when they need them, whether they are for newly acquired assets or assets that have been in use for multiple decades.  Access to SDI’s vast supplier network simplifies our clients’ business as they are no longer required to maintain relationships with these suppliers, thereby simplifying their supply base and allowing them to focus on those suppliers who are truly critical to their business.
 
Of course, with this number of suppliers it is impossible to maintain deep relationships with each one, therefore SDI implements good SRM practices and builds Preferred Supplier relationships with a focused set of organizations.  With these Preferred Suppliers, SDI leverages the fundamental concepts of SRM with a focus on a collaborative relationship that provides for improvements in quality, supplier and SDI performance with respect to delivery, ordering and efficient business practices.
 

Leveraging Our Supplier Network Provides Clients with Best Value

SDI leverages our supplier network, both preferred and non-preferred to ensure that our clients receive the best value for the purchasing dollar. Through competitive bidding SDI is able to achieve competitive market pricing, either for longer term, repeat stock purchasing activity or for one-off non-stock transactions.  While both our clients and SDI seek to reduce costs through our purchasing activity, it is equally important items be available on-time at the right time.  Therefore, while price is a key factor, a supplier’s ability to meet SDI’s client delivery schedule is key factor that can influence supplier selection.
 
Today SDI’s SRM program contributes to our ability to manage our supplier relationships with a degree of effectiveness and efficiency that is not generally possible within our clients’ environments given the sheer number of suppliers and interactions required to manage the MRO supply chain.  Looking forward SDI is embarking on a process to develop the requirements and expectations associated with a new level of supplier partnership that goes beyond traditional SRM practices to defining SDI Supplier Partners. With SDI and our Supplier Partners, we form an ecosystem within the MRO supply chain that delivers maximum value to our clients – through access to new technology, best practices in storeroom and inventory management, reliability and engineering services and cost management.

Talk to an Expert, or call today to find out more about SDI's unique approach Supplier Relationship Management. 

Success Story

Our former solution provider was not independent; they were a supplier of parts. It's not the best thing to have a supplier be your MRO outsourcing provider. With SDI, we have a truly independent sourcing agent looking after our best interests.

SDI at Work

In the third post in this series on MRO As-a-Service by Spend Matters, Pierre Mitchell and Michael Lamoureux talk about how managing MRO as a process delivers benefits from efficiency to effectiveness and beyond to an evolutionary phase. The next generation of value, MRO-as-a-Service, helps organizations build intelligent, agile, scalable and integrated supply chains (direct and indirect).

The project team has worked its way through Define, Measure, Analyze, and Improve. It’s time to begin the Control phase. The key stakeholders gather to evaluate the solution as implemented and create a plan to sustain the improvements. The goal is to standardize the improved processes, establish an audit schedule and schedule periodic follow-up to identify additional opportunities for improvement.