The journey towards comprehensive supplier discovery

October 18th, 2016

On October 27th, Mary Kachinsky and Stephany Lapierre are leading a session on comprehensive supplier discovery as well as moderating a panel discussion at ProcureCon Pharma 2016 in Philadelphia. Mary is the Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Operations for FORMA Therapeutics – and (we’re proud to say!) a member of the tealbook Advisory Board.

Mary’s vision and leadership allowed her to ‘get’ the importance of investing in supplier discovery immediately. She has over 25 years’ experience as a strategic leader and partner at companies such as Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Genzyme, and the Bose Company – companies that see clear value from partnering with suppliers for innovation. As she pointed out last year, “Procurement must ensure that we have the best providers that can scale with the company, that can collaborate with us and bring efficiencies.”

One of the things that will makes this year’s conference so interesting is that we are a full year from our initial research into supplier discovery. Last year’s research taught us that 70% of procurement professionals prefer to get supplier intelligence from their peers, and that 78% of those exchanges occur in person – which is inefficient, time consuming, and happens without leaving a trace that the company might benefit from in the future.

This year, we want to discuss not just the process of discovery, but the scope of the information it includes and how that can positively impact the organization. Supplier discovery can no longer be fueled by static information alone. Instead, collective intelligence – created by combining and applying input from internal stakeholders, industry peers, suppliers, and respected third party data sources – must form the basis for the discovery process.

Central to the idea of comprehensive supplier discovery is that while more perspectives should be brought to bear on the process, it can’t take longer. 83% of supplier searches take 6 weeks (or more) to complete, delaying the RFP process and leading to frustration from stakeholders. Procurement must accelerate supplier discovery while broadening it if stakeholders are to see the value.

One of the key slides in our presentation uses the visual of a bridge to illustrate the journey towards comprehensive supplier discovery. In order to progress from traditional to comprehensive supplier discovery, procurement needs to accommodate factors such as company size, available resources, executive buy-in, and relative influence. Each procurement team needs to start that journey by taking one step at a time in order to fully capture and leverage the capabilities of their supplier base, adding new suppliers as needed.

If you are headed to Philly in October, we’d love to see you at our 10:00am morning session or have you join the Q&A panel we are moderating at 3:50pm. If you’re not, but are still interested in learning how your supplier discovery can become more comprehensive, contact us and check out our whitepaper based on the research done at ProcureCon Pharma last year: Improving Strategic Supplier Discovery Through Technology.

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