In the last part of this post we looked at the need for a dynamic reporting functionality within a Supplier Performance Management system.
Now in this post we can look at the key functionalities of leading SPM vendors that can be used to help better report on and manage supplier performance.
As discussed dynamic dashboards and graphs has become the preferred method for reporting on data. The ease at which colour coded metrics can instantaneously provide visual impressions of performance has made such tools a must for all organisations.
Therefore effective SPM reporting relies heavily upon a systems ability to use captured performance data and produce meaningful reports. A key requirement of such functionality is the ability to generate bespoke reports based on time, location & supplier. For example to build a meaningful report based on Supplier A one is able to filter data to show performance over individual product lines, locations and time periods. This flexibility provides users with the opportunity to drill down into data to identify performance trends and issues.
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This performance data can be manipulated and displayed in a number of visually impressive dashboards. A number of variable options provide users with a plethora of potential reporting options to present supplier performance reports.
Users can now, with the leading vendors, use the performance data reporting options to create unique Supplier Awards. Supplier Awards have become an increasingly popular tool to manage key supplier relationships. Leading SPM vendors allow for users to use the reports to generate these unique awards. Officially awarding & documenting good performance has become a great incentive for suppliers.
Reporting is a major component of the Supplier Performance Management system. For those who work within the supply chain & procurement industry having visibility and the ability to produce key reporting metrics is key to maintaining a level of control & performance management.
In this blog piece I shall look at the fundamental need for reporting, keys reporting features and the benefits of reporting for SPM.
As we have discussed many times in this blog, Supplier Performance Management relies upon having the ability to capture key data, process this data and allow for action to be taken on it. Reporting plays a huge role in this process by allowing a user to work with captured supplier data across any number of pre-determined hierarchical or time zones & produce meaningful output. Without a full range of reporting options performance data would be lost.
Information displayed in a visual dashboard has replaced traditional written reports with plain tabular figures. This is a trend not only within the Supply Chain & Procurement industry but right throughout the business & academic community. Visually striking & dynamic interfaces allow for a more striking impact.
This has driven leading SPM vendors to allow users to build these dynamic Reporting dashboards. You can see an example below from the industry leader. They allow performance data to be created into dynamic user friendly reports. Graphical options as well as the ability to create fully interactive colour coded reports driven across predetermined locations and date ranges deliver a superior Supplier Management solution.
For many Supply Chain Managers having the option to build such reports makes successful performance management a more transparent and achievable process.
As we have discussed on many occasions managing supplier performance is crucial to ensuring a world class supply chain. The last post looked at how developing relationships with key suppliers plays a major role in maintaining a high performing supply chain.
Reporting is the crucial function in helping manage these key supplier relations. Reporting along your supply chain has been regularily cited by AMR as crucial to maintaining the top global supply chains. In this regard when we refer to supplier reporting this involves development of a reporting culture and process.
The top SPM vendors have a dedicated approach. To examine this we can look at the latest exclusive article from Jason Busch at Spend Matters. He identifies how the leading vendor has a 4 pronged approach to reporting;
- Single Supplier Reporting
- Various Suppliers across a Service
- Single Supplier across Various Services
- All Suppliers across All Services
A strategic approach to reporting gives your organisation the ability to develop dynamic reports that, in helping develop key supplier relationships, helps significantly improve performance. It does so through allowing a greater supply chain visibility for all parties.
How do you capture supplier metrics?
You can vote here.
Does this data surprise you?
Much to a discerning SPM practitioners displeasure, excel spreadsheets have continued to be used by leading organisations to collate and manage data.
Excel, a tool built for individual usage with limited data has found itself struggling under the weight of whole organisations data. Furthermore its basic analytical tools are being stretched as it is bombarded with heavy, manual, raw data. This must end.
Excel is a fine tool for domestic use, managing accounts or shopping lists but has no place in modern day business storing data.
Lets have a quick look at Excels core weaknesses;
- Requires labour intensive manual uploads of information.
- This importing of raw data is susceptible to human error; a quite unacceptable variance in this day and age.
- Excel lacks any in-depth or recognised data analysis tools. Unlike leading SPM solutions; excel has very basic reporting options.
- As mentioned; excel is a tool that was initially developed as a tool for an individual user managing very limited data.
- Excel lacks the ability to build Key Performance Indicators and apply these to create user scorecards.
There are so many drawbacks against using excel. So many of these are apparent to organisations yet they continue to utilise them out of habit.
Break the habit and get business smart. Data measurement and management is such a key element to managing performance that one cannot rely on excel.