What is Key Supplier Management?

Key Supplier Management (KSM) focuses on actively managing your critical suppliers to ensure they deliver the services you need at a competitive price. A supplier audit usually reveals issues that need to be addressed before they affect service.

Why do I need to focus on Key Supplier Management?

Key suppliers need to be effectively managed to ensure they consistently deliver services to a high quality. All suppliers have pressures on them to deliver consistently but they also have pressure on them to keep their costs low. This balancing act is difficult to do on a sustainable basis, and if a supplier is contracted for a period of three to five years there will inevitably be service outages and issues that seriously affect service quality. And as your supplier’s service is an integral part of your service, your supplier’s service issues will directly impact your reputation and also your costs. Many companies simply do not have the time and resource to manage their suppliers through a performance review and this is where HawkCX can help. With our experience, knowledge and toolkit we can hit the ground running and address supplier issues quickly and effectively. HawkCX will pre-empt service issues by carrying out a supplier audit and root out potential service issues before they cause a significant outage and with major consequences for you and your customers.

So make sure your suppliers are fit for purpose and on top of their game before their problems affect your reputation.

When would you implement Key Supplier Management?

KSM can be implemented at any time and as ‘prevention is better than cure’ it’s better to act sooner rather than later. Ideally this needs to be done before disaster strikes and the service fails. However if you have already had unacceptable performance from a supplier you need to act quickly.

How do you implement Key Supplier Management?

KSM involves thoroughly reviewing the supplier’s service delivery performance which HawkCX addresses by carrying an audit, and developing a series of improvement measures and targets which the supplier can commit to.

The supplier audit covers all the elements that are required to deliver services: process, people and systems. The supplier is encouraged to open its doors and act in a transparent way to enable full data capture and review. We use our knowledge and experience to focus in on the real issues and encourage transparency.

What is involved in establishing Key Supplier Management?

There are four steps in the process:

  1. Fact finding: We engage with the supplier and work with them to audit their operation, focusing in on the areas of concern. The audit will cover all aspects of service delivery including capabilities, process, systems, maintenance, problem solving, communications and business continuity.
  2. Analysis: the information gathered under Step 1 is then analysed systematically that enables all aspects of a service to be reviewed in as much detail as required.
    • We review service performance including availability, equipment reliability, early life failures, outages, including root cause analysis of outages.
    • We also review relevant processes for their usability and effectiveness. Processes provide guidance and steps required to manage a task or set of tasks. Evidence of continuous improvement is explored to gauge if people regularly look for ways to improve the processes they use to manage services.
    • Peoples’ skills and experience to manage the service is assessed. This covers team capability and also whether these capabilities are present at the right time and in the right quantity required to deliver the service.
    • Information systems involved in delivering the service are reviewed as well as the data required.
    • We also assess technical systems and infrastructure including preventative and reactive maintenance routines and resources.
    • Communications materials and processes are assessed including distribution and timeliness.
  3. Report and presentation: results from the audit are presented in a report which clearly outlines the result of the audit including facts found under Step 1 and analysis under Step 2. Recommendations are covered in a Supplier Improvement Plan with suggestions for improvements, actions, targets and cost savings. A presentation of the work done and recommendations is available for audiences as required. At this stage the client can decide to improve use the Supplier Improvement Plan to manage the supplier himself, or alternatively HawkCX can implement the plan on behalf of the client.
  4. If asked to implement the plan, HawkCX will actively manage the supplier to ensure they fully deliver on the Supplier Improvement Plan. Throughout this phase HawkCX will hold regular meetings with the supplier, track agreed key performance indicators and regularly feedback performance to the client. Effective communication between HawkCX and the client is key during this phase so there are no surprises and confidence in the supplier’s ability to execute the improvement plan is fully restored.

Can HawkCX help you?

Contact us today if you’d like to hear more about our perspective on meeting these challenges

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