What are major outputs of supplier intelligence?

Supply-chain-collaboration
Image Source: logistics.co.uk

As sourcing industry evolves itself from being cost saving function to being an entity that drives strategies, aids in contract compliance, innovation,product development, relationship management and much more; it becomes very mandatory for fraternity in totality to look at the market insights and supplier insights for driving strategic decisions.

These procurement focused market insights; popularly know as supply chain intelligence bundle- might be positioned in raw material, peers or suppliers environment.

Skill set and output that is most important of this all, is supplier intelligence.

Why so?- As sourcing is all centered around supplier and their activities. Now, in this ever evolving sourcing industry, dynamics change every fortnight, and one important skill set that will come in as rescue would be supplier intelligence.

This brings us to the today’s agenda of:

What are the important outputs that supplier intelligence has to offer to sourcing leads.

Supplier Intelligence, basically means knowing everything about supplier that company is associated with. Further it does not limit its reach to incumbents and stretches itself to all the known suppliers for the respective category/or product in reference.

Catch is, you cannot visit these suppliers homepage just before sourcing cycle, and experience the know-it-all mindset. Which means sourcing analysts flagged to supply chain intelligence must time and again visit supplier market and track for their activities on continuous basis.


Some of the top rated outputs of supplier intelligence include, figuring out top suppliers based on:

  1. Market Share
  2. Capacity
  3. Innovation index
  4. Geographical foot print
  5. Regulatory know how
  6. End-to-End services
  7. M&A patterns
  8. Financial health

while these data points are the most watched areas from external perspective, internal view of vendors also form the key aspect of supplier intelligence. These include rating suppliers from the following perspective:

  1. Lead time to deliver product
  2. Payment models and flexibility
  3. Quality
  4. Contribution to innovation/product development
  5. Contribution to Y-o-Y savings target
  6. Others

What we observe is supplier intelligence is basically convergence of Market Intelligence and Business Intelligence. Which means information encapsulated under supplier intelligence reports is sum of external & internal business environment.

We would like to surmise by saying supplier intelligence output hold key to driving strategic decisions for any sourcing professional. While understanding the output of the supply intelligence study before hand is good, one should not limit to the output variables when he is in the field. This primarily on the grounds of nature of supply market that differ from geography to geography and industry to industry.

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