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Where Does Supplier Life Cycle Management Starts供应商寿命周期管理从何开始?

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西方管理界有一句话叫No Measurement, No Management (没有测量,就没有管理),意思是说所有的管理都是从测量开始的,包含对一项任务,一个项目,一组员工,等等,同样适用于对供应商的管理。进一步延伸一下,供应商的管理又从何开始呢?

There is a saying in western management that, “No Measurement, No Management”, which suggests that all management begins from measurement, ranging from a task, a project, a team of staffs, etc. Similarly, it can also be applied to management of suppliers.  To extend further, where should the supplier management start

供应商的管理从定要求和规则开始,这叫立则兴,不立则废。要求和规则从业务的基础 – 采购环节开始,采购的战略和定位顺从公司和组织的业务需要和定位开始。

The supplier management begins from setting up requirements and standards, which is known as “Establishing rules indicates prosperity; whereas not doing that indicates decline. Requirements and standards starts from the basic part of business—procurement, while the strategies and positioning of procurement compromise to business needs and positioning of the company or organizations.”

家里有小朋友的父母有经验,要拒绝小朋友的需求就要先立规矩,让他(她)按规矩行事,比如看电视,必须要先做完作业。老师有经验要激励学生取得好分数不仅要考试,还要告诉他们录取分数线及他们模拟考试成绩的排名(当然仅仅有这些还不够)。

Parents of small children may be quite experienced as they know that if they want to refuse requests from their children, they must establish rules first and ask him(her) to act accordingly. For instance, only when children finish their homework first can they watch TV. Likewise, teachers are also experienced in encouraging students to get high marks. They not only ask students to take tests, but also tell them admission scores as well as the ranks, even though these are apparently not all tips.

对供应商的管理同样需要将规矩和规则定好,并通过各种方式宣导给供应商以及让他们认可接受。

Similarly, supplier management also requires rules and regulations which will be cascaded to suppliers by all means in order to make them accept these terms.

要将这些变为现实,需要至少完成以下事项:

To make these into reality, we should at least accomplish following items:

1.健全采购方的内部流程Establish Clear Internal Procedures at Purchasing Organizations

要将采购方组织的要求清晰且明确下来,需要供应商满足ISO9001作为最低要求的那就要满足。产品规格及质量要求没有明确的定义,如何能期望供应商做出合乎自己想法的优良产品?需要有规范的管理表格来展示或传递需求的就需要拟定好落实下来,套用一句话叫一屋不扫何以扫供应商。

To make the request of procurement organizations clear and definite, suppliers are bound to meet the ISO9001 as the minimum expectation if they are requested. Since there is no specific definition on product standard and quality requirements, how can we expect suppliers to produce excellent product conforming to our personal mind? Therefore, if there is a need for some normative management table to present or communicate requirements, then it should be formulated and implemented. To quote a proverb, “if own house is not cleaned up, how can we clean for suppliers?”

2.强化采购方内部的沟通Reinforce Communication in Purchasing Organizations

需要建立独立的同供应商的沟通窗口的就要明确下来并告诉供应商,不能让供应商猜测谁应该是正确的联系窗口,也不能让供应商随便找采购方一个关系不错的“朋友”或者“领导”来解释某一方面的要求,这只会害人又害己。常见的现象是供应商找采购员或者技术代表由他们来做解释或转给采购方其他人员,但是经常会出现“传话筒”现象-要求被弱化甚至变形了,因为供应商那端提出疑问的最早可能也不是销售或者技术人员,只不过他们在供应商那端也是代表公司在传话而已。

If it is necessary to set up independent communication window with suppliers, it should be made clear and told to suppliers. Not only cannot we let suppliers to suppose which one is the right contact window, but we also cannot make suppliers to find a well-related “in-side friend or leader” with good relationship at random, as it will do harm to other people as well as suppliers themselves. The common phenomenon is that suppliers resort to buyers or technical representatives to help explain, or hand it over to other staffs of procurement organization, yet a phenomenon of “passing on microphones” will appear more often than not, which implies that the requirements and/or questions are weakened or even deformed. To explain, the one who put forward a question from suppliers’ aspect at first may not be salesman or technician— they merely pass on the message on behalf on the company from suppliers.

采购端的岗位职责及授权也需要有很明确的说明和定义,如同一个采购专业人士曾经在分享他的经历当中提到在一个采购合同里面有涉及如果有XXX事项,需要乙方(供应商)与甲方(采购方)联系,但是并没有说与甲方的某部门的什么性质的代表联系,结果就会出现甚至乙方会与甲方的前台沟通也并不违背采购合同的情形。曾经某公司技术部请了个实习生,随着时间的推移,实习生的工作内容也越来越多,结果就出现了实习生口头批准了供应商的一个产品技术变更,造成后面市场出现投诉(这个时候已经是1年之后了),结果实习生已经结束实习离开公司了,只有剩下的人来承担这个后果了。可见在公司内部有清晰的沟通有多重要。

The responsibility and authorization of procurement needs explicit illustration and definition as well, which resonates with the experiences of a procurement professional. He mentioned that in a procurement agreement, if it involves some issues, the Party B (supplier) are supposed to contact Party A (purchaser). Nevertheless, since it does not mention which type of representatives from which department of Party A should be contacted, the Party B can also communicate with the reception of the Party A without breaking the procurement contract. Once a technical department of one company employed an intern who got more and more works as time goes by. Thus, he later approved a technical change in product verbally, giving rise to complaint in the market afterwards (About one year later). However, the interns had finished his internship and left the company, only those who were still on-board can take the responsibility. In a word, clear communication within the company is of vital importance.

3.多渠道沟通规则和需求Communicate Rules and Requirements to Suppliers Through Multiple Channels.

供应商管理不是一朝一夕的事情,向供应商传输采购方的要求也并能一蹴而就,或者一纸令下,这只能徒劳无益,反而需要多渠道多沟通,这一点上孩子教育有一定的借鉴意义,并不是送去一个高级的幼稚园就可以改变孩子的行为举止,而大部分是依赖于父母的反复强化教育和影响。

Supplier management is by no means an issue that can be achieved overnight. Similarly, passing requirements from purchasers to suppliers cannot be accomplished at once or commanded immediately since it is of no use pumping a dry well. Conversely, it requires multiple channels for more communication. In this aspect, education on children has something to refer: it is the repeated enhanced education and influence of parents rather than a superior kindergarten that will change the behavior of children.

从采购方的管理层,需要树立在公司内部建立流程的理念,在同供应商的管理层进行战略上的沟通时需要强化这些要求的宣导,比如供应商大会,定期或不定期的拜访或评审会议。采购方的中层和基层执行人员在推行或执行这些要求时尽量含括供应商端的对应的执行人员及相关应该被告知的人员,避免经由供应商的某个HUB 再去传递述求。

In terms of the purchaser management layer, it needs to build concepts of process that should be established inside the company. When communicating with management level of suppliers on strategies, it is necessary to reinforce the promotion of these requirements such as supplier conferences, regular or irregular visit or review meetings. When the middle or operational level staffs implement or execute these requirements, they should include counterpart operational staffs of suppliers and relevant ones that should be told as far as possible so as to avoid give request via certain HUB of suppliers.

同时这些中层和基层的执行代表应该反向向采购方的管理层进行总结汇报,看看哪些要求执行起来有难度,供应商和自己有何种建议可以来优化。如此一来,形成一个PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act)的良性循环来推动要求的落实。

Meanwhile, those executive representatives of middle and basic level ought to make a summary and report to the management level of purchasing organization in reverse so that they can find out which requirements may be difficult to carry out, and which suggestion can be inspired by suppliers and staffs to optimize the situation. Thus, a practical PDCA(Plan-Do-Check-Act) circle will be formed to propel implementation of requirements.

在此基础之上,再来采取测量,对于执行有偏差的环节进行修正,推动供应商的管理更上一层楼。

If we start to measure, and then amend the process with deviation in execution on this basis, the result of pushing forward management of suppliers will become better and better.

 

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGE GIVEN TO MS.ZIZHU WANG (AKIKO) FOR TRANSLATION.

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