Environment that you need to play in for being supply chain intelligence pioneer..

word cloud - supply chain

Output of anything basically relies on inputs that you feed in. However, for output to make sense input must be fetched from right area, and must be as accurate as possible.

What we are trying to lead you at is, supply chain intelligence relevance lies in identifying right data , which relies greatly on environment that you pick the data from.


For having a well structured supply chain intelligence data, one should know areas that he/she should look into to get the right feed-stock (information) for analytical machine.

That is supply chain intelligence analyst must understand the intricacies of the environment that he must visit on daily basis to get the result from their analytical engine.

This brings us to the bigger question of-

what are the environment that a sourcing professional must visit on daily basis.

Three environment that we can think of is:

1.Supplier environment

2.Internal environment

3.Peer environment


Supplier environment:

This environment basically comprises internal and external factors. Internal being insights on company’s incumbents, while external being other potential vendors and their scale up activities.

Supply market intelligence is skill set that helps you fetch inputs from this environment.Inputs that you look to gather are :

  • Supplier profile comprising number of employees, geographical footprint, R&D staff,capacity,utilization rate, market share and other associated information.
  • Next is, his risk rating which is function of supplier’s financials.
  • Check must not be limited to your immediate supplier but must stretch beyond to various tier level suppliers. This is mandatory because of recent surfaced regulations around supply chain data disclosure.
  • For incumbents there is extra check that a company can do to measure their performance, some of the aspects that could be evaluated for the same include: his average lead time to deliver components, payment modes and their flexibility, lastly their contribution to innovation and cost savings Y-o-Y.

Internal environment:

This environment contains feed stock which also forms subset of other two mentioned environment.It basically contains input which comprises company’s all spend elements. This could be bucketed at category, subcategory level. And would form source of understanding the critical categories and critical suppliers.

This environment holds key relevance in bench-marking company’s spend performance, and is most important side of supply chain intelligence triangle.


Peer environment:

No game is won without competition from peers, procurement game is no different. This environment basically helps company position itself on a map with other peers, and helps them analyze how they performed in sourcing game. The inputs from this environment also helps company pick best practices that they could leverage in order to counter their challenges. While comparison of peers revenue has always helped define market share , looking at how they managed their spend per revenue, helps identify company’s procurement performance.


Now these environments are ever growing and will always have new variable added to them as and when market gets complex. But, if sourcing professionals want to make best out of supply chain intelligence packets, they must position themselves in this environment on continuous basis and look for any abnormality or pattern that surfaces up. This will not just help them counter the upcoming challenges but also make them pioneer buyer in sourcing fraternity.

Some of the other in-direct environment that buyer should keep an eye on include country environment: this has further bifurcations of nature environment, labor environment, educational environment and others. Lateral industry environment is yet another area that sourcing professionals must be updated with, this helps procurement teams predict any sort of supply crunch that might surface up from other industries increased activity.


As we cover the various aspects of supply chain intelligence for the viewers, please feel free to drop your comments on areas that you would want us to write or blog on.

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