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Language: English

Making Supplier Relationships Work


A.T. Kearney
Sourcing & Procurement Supplier Relationship Management

We rely on suppliers for a wide range of products and services that allow us to succeed, yet we know surprisingly little about these relationships or how to fully harness them. Some believe these relationships are all about cutting costs. Others think they are the sum of every category management initiative ever tried. We have a different view. We believe that suppliers, and our relationships with them, are an area yet to be fully explored or exploited. At a recent A.T. Kearney Executive Roundtable, 50 chief procurement officers (CPOs) from major U.S. and global corporations conceded that managing suppliers effectively is one of their biggest challenges, and that they are not currently prepared to address it.

A team of A.T. Kearney partners is spearheading an initiative to fill this void. Called the True Supplier Relationship Management (TrueSRM) Project, and funded by leading high-tech players around the world, we have developed a comprehensive approach to managing supplier relationships—comprehensive because it works in all industries. This paper is about our initial findings, which will culminate in a book scheduled for release in 2014.


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