Implementing Supplier Performance Management Systems. What are the barriers and steps to implementation success?- Part 1

The blog is lucky to have the input of SPM practitioniers to our content. This is the first in a 3 part series looking at barriers and steps to implementation success for Supplier Performance Management solutions.


Recently I have been working with a client who has had an SPM system in operation for over a year and a half. The company is currently having difficulties fully imbedding the system within their organization and requested a meeting with me to look at this issue. They asked that I develop a presentation around one of the key questions I get asked “How do your other clients do this successfully and why is it not working for us?”

Having implemented SPM systems in many companies over the years I get asked this question on a regular basis. So here are my thoughts on why implementation may not have worked for this client in particular;

Firstly why was the SPM System Implementation not a “success”?

– They ‘bit off more than they could chew’ – The client tried to onboard too many suppliers, scorecards and internal users at once. A phased/tiered implementation model would have worked more successfully.

– Not all the relevant stakeholders were included and communicated with early enough in the process.

– Not using a robust model to handle the implementation – This client used only a centrally placed team to handle the implementation and this doesn’t work. A central team should coordinate the actions of ‘Champions’ at the local level who will work directly with the Operator Stakeholders and Suppliers to ensure buy in. This also relates back to point two regarding key stakeholders not being included in the process at an early enough stage.

– Too much complexity – Trying to overcomplicate scorecards by using too many metrics and asking the supplier respondent for too much complex data tends to lead to non responses. In addition too many access levels with similar permissions can lead to users over writing each others work also the complexity in set up it is confusing for users. Keep it simple.

– Too many custom scorecards/reports/Suppliers – Too many groups are using the exact same scorecards/surveys and instead of using the same template and disseminating it they are creating their own custom versions each time. This means essentially the same questions are being asked twenty different ways, diluting the value of the data and the ability to report at a global level. It also clutters the system, visually making it seem more complex than it actually is. Also Suppliers are just being added to the system randomly with no strategy behind their addition.


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