Effective management of supplier information can save time and money, and reduce risk in the FM sector. Gary Plant, Managing Director of Altius, makes the case in a feature published on i-fm.net.
The recent research based on a poll by Trade Interchange shows a poor grasp of supplier information in the FM sector, but it is encouraging to see that almost 60% of those FM professionals polled plan to invest in improving supplier information management processes and systems over the next 18 months.
The research highlights that the main fears of weak supplier information management are: risk to brand, lack of visibility, the risk of information silos and administrative burden.
One of the key reasons for improving supplier information management systems is to simplify supply chain compliance and reduce risk and cost, while freeing up management time.
How many procurement and health and safety managers are there who can sleep easy at night knowing that if the worst happened and they faced legal action, they could readily defend that action. How many of them would be able to lay their hands, instantly, on a full online audit trail of all the up-to-the-minute and historical evidence?
That's what an effective information management system should deliver. Manual processes and juggling of spreadsheets are simply not up to the job. Also, it's not good enough to re-create a traditional paper-based system online. Data must be dynamic and continually up-to-date.
Supplier information management process
That's why Altius completely re-engineered the entire supplier information process to create a real-time web-based system that's transparent to both clients and suppliers. This is an evidence-based system that maintains a complete audit trail of every piece of data and every change made to it.
The Altius supplier assessment programme eliminates the need for manual processes and juggling of spreadsheets - releasing valuable resources so that staff can focus on development issues and adding value to the business.
Supply chain blindness is a common concern – and this is where an effective supplier information system delivers: providing full visibility and an ability to plot trends and spot weaknesses by mapping the full historical data. An added benefit is that it significantly improves management reporting. Taken to the next level, it can also ensure that several tiers of the supply network, such as sub-contractors, are in sight.
When organisations gain full control of their supplier information system, it's liberating. Managers can use their skills to add value to the organisation by actually developing the supply chain, rather than being bogged down in managing a clunky supply chain compliance process.
The Altius supply chain compliance system was winner of the i-FM Technology in FM Awards (commercial category). The system is used successfully by the likes of Bellrock, Facilities Services Group (FSG) and MML, as well as many other leading UK businesses, such as Boots, Morrisons, Airbus, Selfridges, Debenhams and Arcadia Group.
For more information on how you can improve the supplier information management process you have in place, download your free copy of our Introduction to Supply Chain Compliance Best Practice today.
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