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Introducing supplier relationship management to improve risk mitigation and performance improvement with key suppliers

In 2017, we piloted a new supplier relationship management (SRM) programme in the UK, developed to deliver ongoing performance and innovation improvements with key suppliers. SRM is the discipline of mitigating the risks and maximizing the value of key supplier interactions through strategic planning and management, and creating closer, more collaborative supplier relationships.

A small cross-section of our key suppliers were selected to participate in a trial to test and refine the SRM process and tools, and to validate resource expectations for development and implementation of a wider SRM strategy in 2018. Participants were drawn from a range of categories and lengths of relationship with Serco. Individually-tailored SRM plans were required to establish consistent supplier performance governance, based on detailed requirements and segmentation analysis. In some cases, internal and external stakeholder surveys were used to baseline relationships and identify opportunities for improvement.

The pilot has helped to refine the SRM solution and inform its deployment and adoption from 2018. This includes incorporating key small-medium enterprise suppliers who are not typically in scope for formal supply chain programmes.