Thursday 31 January 2013

Promoting Supplier Innovation (Part Two)

Authored by Sarah Clarke

Yesterday we highlighted a blog from Harvard Business Review’s Rosabeth Moss Kanter on Stifling Supplier Innovation. For each of the supplier innovation stiflers, Moss Kanter lists ‘Innovation Promoters’ which can have the opposite effects to the stiflers. Again, here’s my pick...

  • Encourage ideas from suppliers as they often know your business better than some of your own team. 
  • Promote your commitment to the supplier innovation programme and ask your suppliers to invest time into providing new ideas. Respect their time by giving them as much notice of changes to requirements and key members of staff, so they can spend the time on innovation.
  • Make sure your category managers hold their quarterly reviews with strategic suppliers, toshare performance reviews and discuss innovations. 
  • Motivate your employees to collaborate with suppliers on new innovations. Let them know there will be some projects that will not be as successful as others, but it’s ok to fail. Publicise and reward innovative suppliers at annual supplier awards ceremony. 
  • Embrace your suppliers as an extension of your business. Learn from their ideas and build open and trusting relationships where innovation will thrive. 
You can read the full blog from Moss Kanter here, and if you've still not had a chance to take a look at Peter Smith’s report on Market-Informed Sourcing, you can download this here.

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