Why SAP can’t build it
During this year’s ProcureCon Pharma conference, a panel was addressing best practices in vendor management. During this discussion, one of the panelists asked why no one had developed a good supplier dashboard that would centralize supplier information and give greater visibility to a company’s existing supplier base. She specifically called out to SAP folks to build it. A few friendly faces in the audience turned over to me and smiled. They know it does exist, and they also know exactly why SAP couldn’t build it.
Don’t get me wrong, dashboards and portals exist. For decades, companies have tried to build their own version of a dashboard to increase access to credible supplier information. Technology companies have created intuitive dashboards and portals to enable their customers to store supplier information in a more efficient way.
So why the plea to have someone build it? Why doesn’t this procurement professional who has been in the industry for years have something that works well for her and her team?
Here is the answer:
If companies build a solution for themselves, it only captures their information which quickly becomes stale and outdated. It requires significant efforts to keep supplier information up to date and to make sure the information isn’t limited to what they know. The supplier landscape is moving too fast and it is too large for a single company to keep up with it.
If technology companies build a solution, it will only reflect their customers’ information. It might be a step up, but it will never become the single source of truth as the truth is MUCH MUCH broader than can be represented by one segment of the market.
So who can build supplier information management?
The industry required someone to take a step back and build a platform that was connected to all without sharing proprietary information. A solution that did not compete with what existed, but supercharged customers’ unique supplier masters and enhanced their own legacy and new procurement systems. A single source of truth that would sit in front of and seamlessly integrate with Oracle, SAP/Ariba, IBM/Emptoris, SciQuest, Zycus, Coupa as well as other contract and vendor management platforms. A solution that would centralize all supplier data and become the gold standard in supplier intelligence. A social media-like tool that would even gather procurement and internal stakeholders’ perspectives to enrich intelligence and power procurement with real information at their fingertips. A central place for suppliers to maintain their information in real-time for the purpose of growing their business the right way… based on what they do well and known for.
So don’t look to SAP to build it. It has been built. You can make the supplier data in your ERP system accurate, credible, visible, transparent, collaborative, and more actionable.
Learn more how tealbook can optimize your existing systems and processes and become your single source of supplier truth.