There's a new buzz phrase in the air: Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). Corporate executives know it's necessary, but there's only one problem. Nobody yet knows how to do it. Or they think it's all about bashing your vendors over the head until they reduce the price another 4%. Supplier Relationship Management: How to Maximize Vendor Value and Opportunity changes all that. Containing the best and most innovative advice from the operations and procurement experts at consultant AT Kearney, this book shows that SRM is at root a strategic discussion requiring cross-functional interaction and internal alignment at the highest levels. It requires an honest appraisal of the value that suppliers now bring to your firm, as well as their potential value. It then requires a frank and constructive business-to-business dialogue about how to improve the relationship. When this happens, a company reaps myriad benefits, ranging from new opportunity to added value to competitive advantage-and, quite likely, to overall (and sometimes substantial) cost reductions. This book shows the most concrete methods you can use today to:Identify value-adding opportunities in the supply chainWork closely with suppliers to maximize the benefitsWork the "Critical Cluster" of suppliers, where the greatest opportunity for advantage liesReview suppliers to encourage constant gains in quality and costTurn your SRM strategy into a major competitive advantageSupplier Relationship Management introduces and explains the Supplier Interaction Model, a key tool that will help you get the most from your supplier relationships. It segments the supplier universe into nine categories, from those you want to run away from fast to those so good and so useful to your organization that it can make sense to invest in them directly. Numerous case studies show how to apply the principles to your situation. Supplier Relationship Management burns off the fog that has surrounded the procurement process for far too long. It is the definitive guide for business executives who want to get the maximum benefits from suppliers and gain very real advantages over competitors.