Understanding Supplier Management

Image of Supplier Management

SIG University  Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Kaila Flynn shares how to maintain supplier management from a sales perspective and provides a great reminder of how important relationships and the aspects that make relationships successful are in business

Over the last five weeks, I have had the pleasure of taking the Certified Supplier Management Professional certification through SIG University. Having recently completed the Certified Sourcing Professional certification, I was excited to continue my education in Supplier Management and learn how it can better assist me in my current role.
The first subject in this course that caught my attention was Supplier Fit and the many unique characteristics that go into a buyer and seller relationship. Before taking this course, I was entirely unaware of all the benefits of a conductive supplier relationship and the optimum results/ competitive advantage that came from the research of finding the right supplier. In my current organization, we focus heavily on working with suppliers that are inclusive of all races, gender, and ethnicities. We also heavily focus on working with suppliers who align with our values of equal pay amongst different genders and backgrounds.  
Because of these values, we must match with suppliers who align with our beliefs. This was demonstrated in the three aspects of supplier relationship fit, as seen in lesson one of CSMP. This lesson also covered the importance of fit in terms of strategy. Our organization also places a heavy emphasis on working with suppliers that have a green initiative and are aware of the significance of their carbon imprint.
This means how a supplier conducts day-to-day activities and how they are producing or providing our needed service/item is equally as important as the values described earlier. Having several things to align regarding supplier fit, I learned in this lesson how important governance indeed was and how processes can be aligned to ensure our needs as a buyer are met while still managing a successful relationship with the supplier.    
The next lesson that I found very helpful, and would prove useful in my role, was the content relating to facilitating innovation. In a sales role, innovation and creativity are needed to continue to be successful and make new connections with potential members. The governance framework discussed in this section focused on building trust and the importance of transparency throughout the process of driving joint advocacy.  
Though I had always realized that trust and transparency are essential when building new relationships to lead to sales, it was interesting to see another governance framework regarding innovation and how I can utilize it. Product innovation, process innovation, new market entry, and joint business development are all new paths to innovation that I can use to drive sales.  
Customer connection improvement, discussed in the process innovation standard, gave unique insight on better communicating with potential leads. I also enjoyed reading about market intelligence pooling in this governance framework’s new market entry section. At SIG, we already utilize some pooling of our members, but I can now see how this can also increase sales.
When the Certified Supplier Management coursework began, I was anxious to spend more time in the sourcing and procurement industry to understand the material or contribute generously to the class discussion board. I was so pleased to find all the instructions well thought out and easy to follow. The verbiage was easy to follow. I found the application slide at the end of each lesson exceptionally helpful as it showed examples of how to utilize the lessons in real life.
I look forward to taking what I learned in this course and utilizing it to improve my performance as a Sales Executive at SIG.

The Certified Supplier Management Professional program is a five-week course delivered through SIG University ‘s unique education platform. Visit our website to learn more about the discipline of governance and enroll for the upcoming semester.

Kaila Flynn

Kaila Flynn

Sales Executive, Sourcing Industry Group

Kaila graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2014 with a B.S. Degree focusing on Human Resources and Public Affairs. Having a true passion for relationship building, Kaila made a career in Sales and Business Office Management. Through this relationship-building and networking, Kaila found SIG. She recently switched to the Sourcing and Procurement field in May of 2022. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge of this space with the help of SIG University.