Supplier Management - Key Steps in the Process

I’ve been looking at Supplier Management in my previous posts. I’ve noted why we need Supplier Management, and I’ve stressed how using the Serio tool to implement a Supplier Management process allows you to increase the data available to you.

I want to look at Supplier Management from an Incident Manager’s perspective (you have an Incident Manager, right?), and to describe the ‘workflow’ or steps we might take with an Incident that has to be handled by a 3rd party. These are the key steps, though you can expand it with others.

Assignment. Much like an assignment between colleagues, this is where you assign the Incident to the supplier. It is still assigned to a member of your Helpdesk/Service Desk team, but now has an additional assignment to the supplier. At this time you would notify the supplier – either by telephone, or by sending an email through your ITSM tool. Serio allows such emails to be specifically configured for individual suppliers. 

Acknowledgement. This is where the supplier says ‘I acknowledge receipt of this Incident’ and normally gives you a reference number. Serio allows you to store this with the Incident, and to search for the Incident with this when the supplier calls. 

Callback. Whereas during the Acknowledgement the Supplier merely acknowledges receipt, during the Callback the Suppliers actually addresses the details of the Issue itself. Depending on the nature of the problem, the Supplier might call to discuss the site visit of an engineer, or the installation or configuration of a particular software system.

Supplier Resolution. This is where the suppliers part of the Incident is complete. It may mean that the Incident is resolved, or that you have additional steps to take.

When you make the Assignment step, Serio will attach an additional ‘external’ Service Level Agreement (SLA) to the Incident. This will then be used to measure the timeliness of both the Callback and the Resolution. I’ll talk more about supplier management information in my next post next week.

In the meantime, you can find more about Supplier Management in the HowTo guide, part of the Serio product documentation – see ‘Supplier Management Roadmap’.