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January 29, 2015

How contract management improves supplier relationships

According to Gallup, supplier relationships are among the most overlooked but most important connections a business can have. Being a “customer of choice” can help mitigate risk, lower costs, and spur innovation. Companies that are great customers benefit from a more reliable supply chain and receive “flexible, non-bureaucratic support” from suppliers during crisis situations.

What does this mean for enterprises seeking to improve their relationships with suppliers? Based on their research, Gallup came up with a list of five “core dimensions” for a quality supplier-customer relationship: clarity, simplicity, integrity, reciprocity, and connectivity. The takeaway is that whether you’re a supplier or a buyer, everybody wants to work with companies that are easy to do business with, clear about expectations, and honest and fair in their dealings.

So how do you become a customer of choice? A good place to start is with the DNA of those relationships: contracts. An excellent contract management system will help procurement identify and pay more attention to their most important supplier relationships. The ability to monitor and manage the lifecycles of contracts effectively makes the contracting process more efficient. Being aware of contractual commitments ensures openness and encourages collaboration, trust and innovation.

Showing suppliers a high level of understanding, and willingness to work together at the outset of transactions demonstrates significant dedication to those relationships. With a configured CLM dashboard, you can have fingertip access to information including metrics and KPIs from multiple sources. Supplier-customer relationships unburdened by complicated contract issues are more likely to result in a collaboration that can lead to win-win outcomes for both contracting parties.

How do you get started? Consider implementing a supplier management solution tied to a contract management system. Configured to your needs, you’ll be able to get insight and control, while mitigating risk, lowering costs and driving collaborative innovation.

For more information about how Selectica can help your business create strategic value, please contact us.

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