ITAA Services and Expertise

Supplier Relationship Management

Positive and sustainable relationships with strategic suppliers are critical to an organization’s success

Supplier relationship management (SRM) is a framework that allows organizations to efficiently manage strategic suppliers and deliver tangible commercial benefit. A supplier can be considered strategic when they represent a significant proportion of the annual IT opex/capex budget or provide a business-critical product or service.

The framework relies on key information being available, such as historic investment, associated contracts, budgets, roadmaps, planned projects and issues. Stakeholders from each party attend regular meetings, scheduled monthly, quarterly and bi-annually.

The objective is to ensure commercial, business and IT stakeholders are consistently managing supplier engagement to maximise value, improve governance and decision-making and reduce exposure and risk.

Supplier relationship management - implementation and benefits

  • Transition and implementation

    Once you have selected a supplier, it is important to onboard them well to set the relationship up for success and ensure the value negotiated at the contract stage is delivered to the business.

    We can support you with contract summaries to ensure all stakeholders are clear of the commercial arrangements, and set up the right governance to manage the relationship through transition into delivery.

  • Change management

    Change is an inevitable part of any organization and must be managed well to maintain healthy supplier relationships.

    We can provide the governance models and the contractual framework to ensure any change is delivered successfully.

    If the change is unforeseen, we can work with you to minimize the risk and impact and ensure the best possible commercial outcome.

  • In-life management

    Once we understand your commercial arrangements and the promised outcomes, we can support you to ensure that suppliers deliver.

    Each software vendor has its own philosophy to achieve optimal customer engagement and results, and train their sales teams on this basis.

    By making your organization aware of these behaviours, you can reduce risk and commercial exposure, and often achieve tangible financial benefit. The supplier relationship management approach is specifically tailored to your organization and supplier, and we can provide the content to your stakeholders in your preferred format.

  • Exit management

    This can be a difficult issue for organizations to manage.
    If you need to terminate some services but retain a relationship with a supplier, it is helpful to have an impartial partner who can manage this for you.

    Equally if there are performance issues, we can provide an objective perspective.

    With in-depth experience of exiting arrangements, we can advise on the best approach, identify risks and support your team to ensure a smooth transition away from your supplier.

Results - generating the value they had been promised

  • Problem

    Our client was so busy with sourcing activity, they were neglecting to manage their strategic supplier relationships. With no formal approach to SRM, or any tools or processes in place, they were operating with commercial exposure and risk. Their licensing was not being correctly managed and they were failing to drive the value from their relationships that had been negotiated at the contract stage. Our client was also concerned about the longevity and flexibility of their supplier and procurement strategies.

  • Solution

    We started by partnering with a specialist software consultancy, reviewing all of their existing agreements and needs. We also assessed their supplier strategy, preparing them for supplier meetings that would deliver much clearer objectives and commercial results. Collaborating with the company’s legal team helped align the fragmented contract structure and delivered a more flexible commercial and technical strategy. Finally, we developed a sustainable toolkit and governance structure that complemented their existing procurement, legal and finance processes and delivered a joined-up approach to SRM.

  • Result

    Our client now has centralised framework agreements with their key software providers and a fully aligned supplier management approach, which has enabled them to reduce commercial and governance risk. Alongside these new approaches, they’ve introduced a Software Asset Management tool which is optimising the current estate and delivering flexibility for asset use across all parties. With visibility of their key suppliers and their performance, the team is now able to successfully drive value across the full relationship lifecycle and they are delighted their commercial arrangements now align to their strategy.