The 8 Modules, 31 Focus Points and 5 Collaboration Phases of the SEIC Methodology provide a path to success

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Our Diagnostic Tool provides a gap analysis of SEI capability to support the strategic planning process

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In-depth explorations of the approaches and techniques used by leading organizations in the field of SEI today

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Thought leadership and insightful articles on the most important issues for companies pursuing an SEI agenda

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Insight calls are available to join for all members of the SEIC and will be addressing a number of topics

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Useful downloads, from unique research to practical templates, frameworks and tools being used by SEI leaders

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The 11 modules of the SEI methodology focus on the key processes that enable the successful rollout of SEI

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Our Capabilities Assessment tools provide the means for organizations to gain insight into their own SEI approach

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In-depth explorations of the approaches and techniques used by leading organizations in the field of SEI today

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Thought leadership and insightful articles on the most important issues for companies pursuing an SEI agenda

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Useful downloads, from unique research to practical templates, frameworks and tools being used by SEI leaders

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Panel session illustrates gathering momentum in SEI

Members of the SEIC Steering Committee take the stage at WPC to answer questions on Supplier-Enabled Innovation

To the World Procurement Congress, where Supplier-Enabled Innovation (SEI), and innovation more broadly, were the subject of a large number of sessions; from roundtable discussions, to keynote presentations and panel debates.

 

It was the latter that members of the Supplier-Enabled Innovation Center (SEIC) Steering Committee took a leading role, with Electrolux CPO Gregoire Letort and Brose CPO Sandro Scharlibbe, taking the stage in the main room to provide an insight into their own SEI initiatives. A good number of people joined the session, and after a brief introduction to their SEI programs by both panellists, the questions came thick and fast.

 

The first question, perhaps not surprisingly, was related to measuring success and the KPIs our panellists have in place for doing this, as well as incentivising staff. Scharlibbe explained how all of his procurement team have bonuses relating to SEI (including himself); and listed off a number of metrics he uses to measure impact.

 

Letort, meanwhile, while agreeing that metrics were important offered a refreshing perspective. While Electrolux does measure success, he said that when they first started out on this journey they didn’t measure anything at all. Rather, he said, it was a belief deep in the Electrolux psyche that this was a strategy that needed pursuing.

 

Indeed, earlier in the discussion, both Scharlibbe and Letort, explained how their leadership teams were completely bought into the SEI vision. In the case of Electrolux, the fact they spend between 2% and 3% of revenues on R&D while their supply base spends more than 5% on average left their CEO in no doubt that a systemic approach to SEI was essential to tap into those investments.

 

The CEO is now directly involved in SEI, reviewing and providing direct feedback on supplier ideas and proposals.

 

At Brose, meanwhile, the executive board attention is similarly intense. A huge number of new product comes from suppliers, and the executive management team (of which Scharlibbe is also a member, as it happens) is very much involved in SEI discussions.

 

Other questions during the session included whether SEI was relevant to service-focused organizations (yes, Scharlibbe shared many examples of SEI taking place in indirect categories of spend, and process improvements are also worth targeting); how organizations deal with the confidential nature of discussions taking place (openness is key to SEI, but trust is probably more so) and whether companies should employ dedicated SEI staff or make it part of a buyer’s wider role (depends, but dedicated staff mean they are ring-fenced and can avoid more reactive, less valuable work).

 

Working with the likes of Scharlibbe and Letort on building and developing the SEIC is a refreshing experience. They understand the value that lies within the supply base, and know they have a responsibility to extract it from suppliers that may not previously have been as forthcoming to their organizations.

 

They, along with the other corporate members of the Steering Committee (Karina Larsen O’Halloran of Johnson & Johnson, and Fredrick Spalcke of Philips) know that openness and collaboration is part and parcel of this great journey we have embarked on.

 

They are more than willing to share how they approach SEI, as well as some of the successes and challenges, because they know that by doing so, it opens up conversations and debate that will allow them to evolve their own approach and strategy to the next level.

 

It may take a little while to convince those more traditional procurement executives, who see their roles (and whose bosses no doubt see their roles) as predominantly being about savings, on-time delivery and supply risk management.

 

But the panel session at the World Procurement Congress in London and the interest and audience engagement left me in no doubt that SEI is coming of age. Indeed, as Josh Ghaim, CTO of Johnson & Johnson Consumer, said in his earlier keynote presentation (which you can view here): SEI is no longer about competitive advantage, it’s a necessity. If you haven’t yet started, you’re already too late.

 

Happily, I’ve always liked the mantra: better late than never.

 

To find out more about Supplier-Enabled Innovation and what it means to become a member of the SEIC, click here.

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