Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “Leveraging Supplier Management Platforms for Multiple Goals: Risk Reduction, Supplier Diversity and CSR” from Spend Matters.

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This whitepaper provides a relatively quick glimpse into the evolution of how procurement departments have used technology to collect information from and interface with their supply bases. It begins by describing how these departments typically started experimenting with very targeted technologies, such as solutions just to allow suppliers to self-register with the company or software designed only to track the diversity status of suppliers.

The whitepaper reports that the trend is now moving to single solutions combining multiple purposes for supplier information, saying that “companies are now beginning to turn to solution providers to support a range of individual initiatives and are starting to do so as part of a single, more integrated supplier management effort – rather than as silo-driven practices and technology deployments.” It then gives examples of specific technology vendors that have broadened their solutions over the years: Aravo Solutions, AECSoft, CVM Solutions, and Open Ratings.

The whitepaper claims that a byproduct of this shift to a more unified approach to managing supplier information is that companies taking this unified approach experience a “shift in overall supplier oversight from a mindset of visibility to one of transparency.” Unfortunately, the whitepaper does not define the difference between visibility and transparency, though the reader can assume that the author means that the procurement organization will have access to a single hub for accurate, up-to-the-minute details on all important supplier data from financial status to performance metrics and more.

The whitepaper concludes with descriptions of three discrete components of today’s modern supplier information management systems: Supplier Diversity, Supplier Risk Reduction and Risk Management, and Corporate Social Responsibility. While the whitepaper itself doesn’t share much about the capabilities the various technology vendors offer, the good news is that the Spend Matters blog does provide detailed coverage of some of the vendor offerings in the market. In particular, you may want to check out Spend Matters’ coverage of Aravo and CVM here (http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2009/5/7/Aravo-and-CVM-Solutions-Bring-Supply-Risk-Solutions-to-Market) and AECSoft here (http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2008/10/30/AECSoft–Another-Supplier-Diversity-Vendor-Branches-Out-Part-2).

For the whitepaper itself, you can download your own copy from Spend Matters’ website (registration required).

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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