REVIEW SUPPLIER RELATIONS MANAGEMENT & FIRM PERFORMANCE OF SELECTED MANUFACTURING FIRM IN RIVERS STATE


INTRODUCTION
Suppliers relations management and firms performance of some selected manufacturing firms in rivers state can be seen a holistic study where most manufacturing firms can be review. However, the state is blessed with much human and manpower resources. Rivers State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria. Its capital is Port Harcourt. It is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by Imo, Abia and Anambra States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State and to the West by Bayelsa and Delta states. Rivers state is home to three main ethnic groups: Igbo, Ijaw, and Ogoni.
The inland part of Rivers state consists of tropical rainforest; towards the coast the typical Niger Delta environment features many mangrove swamps.
Rivers state, named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893, when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria.
The state was formed in 1967 with the split of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. Until 1996 the state contained the area which is now in the Bayelsa State.
Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the discipline of strategically planning for, and managing, all interactions with third party organizations that supply goods and/or services to an organization in order to maximize the value of those interactions. In practice, SRM entails creating closer, more collaborative relationships with key suppliers in order to uncover and realize new value, and reduce risk.
Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the systematic, enterprise-wide (1) assessment of suppliers’ assets and capabilities with respect to overall business strategy, (2) determination of what activities to engage in with different suppliers, and (3) planning and execution of all interactions with suppliers, in a coordinated fashion across the relationship lifecycle, in order to maximize the value realized through those interactions.The focus of SRM is to develop two-way, mutually beneficial relationships with strategic supply partners to deliver greater levels of innovation and competitive advantage than could be achieved by operating independently or through a traditional, transactional purchasing arrangement.
In many fundamental ways, SRM is analogous to CRM. Just as companies have multiple interactions over time with their customers, so too do they interact with suppliers – negotiating contracts, purchasing, managing logistics and delivery, collaborating on product design, etc. The starting point for defining SRM is a recognition that these various interactions with suppliers are not discrete and independent – instead they are accurately and usefully thought of as comprising a relationship, one which can and should be managed in a coordinated fashion across functional and business unit touch-points, and throughout the relationship lifecycle.
SRM necessitates a consistency of approach and a defined set of behaviours that foster trust over time. Effective SRM requires not only institutionalizing new ways of collaborating with key suppliers, but also actively dismantling existing policies and practices that can impede collaboration and limit the potential value that can be derived from key supplier relationships.[3] At the same time, SRM should entail reciprocal changes in processes and policies at suppliers.
Organizational structure
While there is no one correct model for deploying SRM at an organizational level, there are a set of structural elements that are relevant in most contexts:
1. A formal SRM team or office at the corporate level. The purpose of such a group is to facilitate and coordinate SRM activities across functions and business units. SRM is inherently cross-functional, and requires a good combination of commercial, technical and interpersonal skills. These “softer” skills around communication, listening, influencing and managing change are critical to developing strong and trusting working relations.
2. A formal Relationship Manager or Supplier Account Manager role. Such individuals often sit within the business unit that interacts most frequently with that supplier, or may be filled by a category manager in the procurement function. This role can be a full time, dedicated positions, although relationship management responsibilities may be part of broader roles depending on the complexity and importance of the supplier relationship (see Supplier Segmentation). SRM managers understand their suppliers’ business and strategic goals, and are able to see issues from the supplier’s point of view while balancing their own organization’s requirements and priorities.
3. An executive sponsor and, for complex, strategic supplier relationships, a cross-functional steering committee. These individuals form a clear link between SRM strategies and overall business strategies, serve to determine the relative prioritization among a company’s varying goals as they impact suppliers, and act as a dispute resolution body.

Governance
The SRM office and supply chain function are typically responsible for defining the SRM governance model, which includes a clear and jointly agreed governance framework in place for some top-tier strategic suppliers. Effective governance should comprise not only designation of senior executive sponsors at both customer and supplier and dedicated relationship managers, but also a face-off model connecting personnel in engineering, procurement, operations, quality and logistics with their supplier counterparts; a regular cadence of operational and strategic planning and review meetings; and well-defined escalation procedures to ensure speedy resolution of problems or conflicts at the appropriate organizational level.
Supplier engagement model
Effective supplier relationship management requires an enterprise-wide analysis of what activities to engage in with each supplier. The common practice of implementing a “one size fits all” approach to managing suppliers can stretch resources and limit the potential value that can be derived from strategic supplier relationships.Supplier segmentation, in contrast, is about determining what kind of interactions to have with various suppliers, and how best to manage those interactions, not merely as a disconnected set of siloized transactions, but in a coordinated manner across the enterprise.Suppliers can be segmented, not just by spend, but by the total potential value (measured across multiple dimensions) that can be realized through interactions with them. Further, suppliers can be segmented by the degree of risk to which the realization of that value is subject.

Joint activities
Joint activities with suppliers might include:
• Supplier summits, which bring together all strategic suppliers together to share the company’s strategy, provide feedback on its strategic supplier relationship management program, and solicit feedback and suggestions from key suppliers.
• Executive-to-executive meetings
• Strategic business planning meetings, where relationship leaders and technical experts meet to discuss joint opportunities, potential roadblocks to collaboration, activities and resources required, and share strategies and relevant market trends. Joint business planning meetings are often accompanied by a clear process to capture supplier ideas and innovations, direct them to relevant stakeholders, and ensure that they are evaluated for commercial suitability, and developed and implemented if they are deemed commercially viable.
• Operational business reviews, where individuals responsible for day-to-day management of the relationship review progress on joint initiatives, operational performance, and risks.

Value measurement
SRM delivers a competitive advantage by harnessing talent and ideas from key supply partners and translates this into product and service offerings for end customers. One tool for monitoring performance and identifying areas for improvement is the joint, two-way performance scorecard. A balanced scorecard includes a mixture of quantitative and qualitative measures, including how key participants perceive the quality of the relationship. These KPIs are shared between customer and supplier and reviewed jointly, reflecting the fact that the relationship is two-way and collaborative, and that strong performance on both sides is required for it to be successful. Advanced organizations conduct 360 degree scorecards, where strategic suppliers are also surveyed for feedback on their performance, the results of which are built into the scorecard.
A practice of leading organizations is to track specific SRM savings generated at an individual supplier level, and also at an aggregated SRM program level, through existing procurement benefits measurement systems. Part of the challenge in measuring the financial impact of SRM is that there are many ways SRM can contribute to financial performance. These include cost savings (e.g., most favoured customer pricing, joint efforts to improve design, manufacturing, and service delivery for greater efficiency); incremental revenue opportunities (e.g., gaining early or exclusive access to innovative supplier technology; joint efforts to develop innovative products, features, packaging, etc. avoiding stock-outs through joint demand forecasting); and improved management of risk. In a 2004 Vantage Partners study, respondents reported that on average, they could save just over $43 million to their bottom line by implementing supplier relationship management best practices.
Systematic collaboration
In practice, SRM expands the scope of interaction with key suppliers beyond traditional buy-sell transactions to encompass other joint activities which are predicated on a shift in perspective and a change in how relationships are managed, which may or may not entail significant investment. Such activities include:
• Joint research and development
• More disciplined and systematic, and often expanded, information sharing
• Joint demand forecasting and process re-engineering (has unlocked savings of 10-30 percent for leading organizations).
Technology & systems
There are a myriad of technology solutions which are purported to enable SRM. These systems can be used to gather and track supplier performance data across sites, business units, and/or regions. The benefit is a more comprehensive and objective picture of supplier performance, which can be used to make better sourcing decisions, as well as identify and address systemic supplier performance problems. It is important to note that SRM software, while valuable, cannot be implemented in the absence of the other business structure and process changes that are recommended as part of implementing SRM as a strategy.
Other Considersations: Challenges
• Creating the business case
• Executive sponsorship
• Calculating ROI
• Developing an SRM sales pitch

SRM and Supplier Performance Management
Some confusion may exist over the difference between Supplier performance management (SPM) and SRM. SPM is a subset of SRM. A simple way of expressing the difference between SPM and SRM is that the former is about ensuring the supplier delivers what has been promised in the contract, which suggests a narrow, one-way process. SRM, in contrast, is about collaboratively driving value for both parties, resulting in lower costs, reduced risk, greater efficiency, better quality, and access to innovation.This requires a focus on both negotiating the contract and managing the resulting relationship throughout implementation, as well as systematic joint value-discovery efforts.[10]

Firm performance of manufacturing firms in Rivers state comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives).
According to Richard et al. (2009) organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: (a) financial performance (profits, return on assets, return on investment, etc.); (b) product market performance (sales, market share, etc.); and (c) shareholder return (total shareholder return, economic value added, etc.). The term firm effectiveness is broader.
Specialists in many fields are concerned with organizational performance including strategic planners, operations, finance, legal, and organizational development.
In recent years, many organizations have attempted to manage organizational performance using the balanced scorecard methodology where performance is tracked and measured in multiple dimensions such as:
• financial performance (e.g. shareholder return)
• customer service
• social responsibility (e.g. corporate citizenship, community outreach)
• employee stewardship
some of the manufacturing firms in Rivers state includes;
S/No. Names of companies and addresses Product Manufactured
1 Air Liquide Nigeria Plc
Plot 108, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Industrial and medical gases and welding equipment.
2 Almarine Limited
28, Kolokuma street Borokiri
Port Harcourt Outboard engine Boats
3 Crocodile Matchets Nig, Ltd
Plot 29, Trans Amadi layout
Port Harcourt Matchets
4 Eastern Bulkcem co. Ltd
Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt Eagle cement
5 Eastern Enamelware Factory Ltd
Plot 29, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Household cooking utensils
6 Rivers vegetable Oil Co. Ltd
Plot 80, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Vegetable edible oil
7 General Agro Ind. Limited
Plot 78/79, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Edible vegetable oil and palm kernel pellets
8 First Aluminum Nig. Ltd
Plot 19-21, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Aluminum coils, sheets & circle collapsible
9 Nigeria Bottling Co. Plc
Plot 126 , Trans Amadi layout
Port Harcourt Coca-cola, krest, Bitter lemon, sprite & fanta
10 Nigerian Engineering Work Ltd
Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Steel structure and pipes, pressure vessels, filling cabinets, cupboards, wardrobe, chairs and desk library shelving, storage shelving, industrial lockers and Fabrication.
11 PH Flour Mills limited
8A, Industry Road
Port Harcourt Flour and maizelina, semolina, bran
12 QR Manufacturing and trading limited
Plot 75Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Motor vehicle radiators
13 Sun Flower Manufacturing Company Ltd
Plot 70, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Plastic bags, containers and household utensils
14 Shower Limited
17, Ohaeto Street, D-line
Port Harcourt Safety and related uniforms & others
15 Polo Packaging Ind. Ltd
Plot 84 Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Polopropylene woven bags & packaging materials
16 Nikko Industries Nig. Ltd
Choba, Port Harcourt. Nylon Fishnets, Auto Trawl Net
17 Galba Limited
Plot 311, Trans Amadi layout
Port Harcourt Refurbished Flat 682 T3-N3 truck, Trailer axles flat 682 T3-N3 Engine refurbishing of Diesel & Gas, Turbine engine, power plant & truck spares.
18 Oil &Industrial Services Ltd
9A, Trans Amadi layout
Port Harcourt Gears, shafts, bolts & nuts, Flanges, bushings
19 Crushed Rock Nig. Ltd
PH/Aba Expressway
Port Harcourt Granite block & Aggregates
20 Danelec Limited
Plot 278, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt
Electrical/ Electronic Regulators
21 Dangote Bail Ltd
Onne
Port Harcourt Cement
22 Keedak Nig. Ltd
Plot 18, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Specialty chemical & water treatment application
23 West African Glass Ind.
Plot 134, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Hollow Glass containers
24 Boskel Nigeria Limited
PH/Aba Expressway
Port Harcourt Smokeless Flares for the oil 7 glass industry
255 Eastern Wrought Iron Limited
Plot 47, Trans Amadi layout
Port Harcourt Bunk beds, wrought iron furniture, hospital & school furniture, star foam, industry and domestic tanks
26 Dufil prima Foods Ltd.
Plot 29, Trans Amadi layout
Port Harcourt Indomie Instant Noodles brands
27 Far East Paint Lustre Ind. Ltd
Plot 170/171, Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt Paints & painting materials, ink, polish colouring & shading, mixture dyes, pigments, varnishes Resins
28 Hoison Energy & Resources Serv. Ltd.
Trans Amadi Layout
Port Harcourt High Density polyproethylene plastics & high density polypylene waste bags
29 Chief Ellah & Sons Nig. Ltd
13, Force Avenue
Port Harcourt Fish & animal products
30 Best Aluminum Mfg Co. Ltd
85, Aba Road
Port Harcourt Aluminum roofing sheets & cooking utensils
31 Grand Foods & Pharmaceutical Ltd
Aka – Ama Gboarian
Yenagoa Pharmaceutical
32 Eleme petrochemicals company Ltd
Eleme,
Port Harcourt
Polypropylene, polyprothylene
33 Delta plastic Ltd
Industrial complex, Apa Ogwu Road, off R.D road, Rumuodara,
Port Harcourt
Poly bags, Bopp brand wrappers, pure water films, shopping bags, pet bottles, disposals, plates
34 Grand petro-Allied Industries Ltd.
Plot 5, Aka Estate, Aka-Ama
P.O. Box 259, Yenegoa PVC pipes, plumbing fittings, Elbow, etc. performs, caps, Gerricans & other plastic materials
They are all members of the MANUFACTURERS
ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA
SUMMARY.
Supplier’s relations management and firm’s performance of some the firms listed above shows three details structures that is peculiar to all business firms and enterprise. They include;
• financial performance (e.g. shareholder return)
• customer service
• social responsibility (e.g. corporate citizenship, community outreach)
• employee stewardship
Government incentive and policies also goes a long way to add value to most firm’s relations management in the state. This can be trace to the recent visit of Dufil foods, producers of indomie to the rivers state government house to akin the governor of their progress in the state and also solicitate his continued support.

CONCLUSION
• The study listed above detail suppliers relations management and firm performance of selected manufacturing firm in river state and came up with detail facts that are peculiar to the manufactuiring industry in rivers state. These structures includes financial performance (e.g. shareholder return)
• customer service
• social responsibility (e.g. corporate citizenship, community outreach)
• employee stewardship

References
1. ^ “Maximising the Value of Supplier Relationships”. CIO Leadership. 9. http://www.vantagepartners.com/researchandpublications/viewPublications.aspx?id=3150.
2. ^ a b c d Hughes, Jonathan (April 2010). “What is Supplier Relationship Management and Why Does it Matter?”. DILForientering. http://www.vantagepartners.com/ISM_DILF_What_is_SRM.aspx. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
3. ^ “From vendor to partner: Why and how leading companies collaborate with suppliers for competitive advantage”. Global Business and Organizational Excellence 27 (3): 21–37. March/April 2008. doi:10.1002/joe.20201. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joe.20201/abstract.
4. ^ “Strategies for Better Collaboration with your Asian Suppliers”. Supply Chain Asia. 21 August 2010. http://www.supplychainknowledge.asia/articles/20110122_9. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
5. ^ “Tiered Supply Chain Management”. LTD Management. http://www.ltdmgmt.com/tiered-supply-chain-management.asp%7C. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
6. ^ “The Changing View of Supplier Segmentation”. Inside Supply Management. October 2005. http://www.ism.ws/pubs/ISMMag/ismarticle.cfm?ItemNumber=12641.
7. ^ a b “Building the Case for SRM”. CPO Agenda. Autumn 2009. http://www.cpoagenda.com/previous-articles/autumn-2009/features/building-the-case-for-srm/.
8. ^ Gordon, Mark (2004). Negotiating and Managing Key Supplier Relationships.
9. ^ Day, Alan. “6 steps to better SRM”. Supply Management. http://www.supplymanagement.com/analysis/features/2009/6-steps-to-better-srm/.
10. ^ “Getting the Most Out of SRM”. Supply Chain Management Review. 19 January 2012. http://ww.scmr.com/article/Getting_the_Most_Out_of_SRM. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
11. ^ Richard et al. (2009): Measuring Organizational Performance: Towards Methodological Best Practice. Journal of Management.

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