Suppliers play a vital role for any company to achieve their goals. They form an important link in the supply chain. The success of the company depends in part on the extent to which its suppliers are able to deliver the purchased goods and services on time in accordance with the required quality. It is therefore crucial to build a good relationship and to liaise with the suppliers throughout the whole lifecycle.

SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management (SLC) enables you to continuously improve your supplier’s performance and helps you to manage your relationship with supplier in the process. SAP SLC provides the following capabilities:

Supplier Registration: The potential suppliers are able to log in to the company’s portal and register themselves indicating that they would like to do business. Via an electronic form, they enter their name and address information and select the commodities they can provide. After an initial assessment by the responsible person within your company you determine whether the supplier is interesting enough to move on to the qualification process. This assessment can be supported by an approval workflow.

Supplier Qualification: Using pre-defined questionnaires, the supplier can be subject to an in-depth assessment. Scores and weights can be assigned to the answers provided by the supplier to form a quality judgment and take a decision. The supplier can also add required certificates to the questionnaires if applicable. The qualification process can be repeated several times throughout the lifecycle of the supplier.

Supplier Portfolio Management: SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management enables the supplier to maintain their own master data through the portal. The supplier may initiate a change to the master data that will be subject to a review by administrator. If the administrator approves the change he will be able to distribute this change to the relevant ERP systems. SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management allows the supplier to maintain its own internal contacts. The system can also be set to send reminders to the suppliers informing them that a particular certificate is about to expire and that he needs to submit a new one.

Supplier Performance Management: You can evaluate your suppliers by periodically sending questionnaires to a group of internal appraisers. An evaluation questionnaire can also be sent to an internal user after a certain event (e.g. goods receipt, invoice booked, etc). Based on the answers provided by the appraisers you will have an overview of the suppliers’ performance. This overview can be used as an input for starting discussions with your suppliers in order to improve their performance.

SAP Supplier Lifecycle Management can be implemented in 3 different ways. As a hub or as an Add On to SRM or ERP: