Defining supplier relationship management system requirements for an EPC firm: a case study
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Improved information technology has reduced the barriers to access international markets, businesses nowadays buy or sell from or to anywhere in the world. Globalization has also encouraged companies to do business far away from their domestic markets. Efficient logistics has enabled companies to manufacture their products in one country and sell it anywhere around the world. Additionally, outsourcing trends have made companies transfer non-core activities to other parts of the supply chains. All these factors have made the supply networks complex and spread all over the world, at the same time businesses have become more dependent on their suppliers. In order to efficiently manage these supply networks, companies have focused on the developing relationships with their suppliers. Supplier relationship management (SRM) has been researched and abundant authors have written about this subject. Many software companies have developed SRM system to assist companies in managing supplier relationships. Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) firms work with a large number of goods and services suppliers for any investment projects. The nature of this industry significantly differs from that of manufacturing industry; however, most of academic literature on SRM is focused on manufacturing industry. Most of the systems for supplier relationship management are built with manufacturing industry being the primary focus as well. The objective of this thesis is to define the requirements for SRM system for an EPC firm delivering processing facility investment projects. To define these requirements, 19 people from the case company, working in indifferent departments, were interviewed to gather the information regarding their needs. Elicited requirements were focused on supplier information management, requisitioning and operative purchasing, product catalogue management, and supplier performance management. Additionally, supplier relationship management activities that are of most interest to an EPC firm were identified as; supplier performance management, supplier selection process, and supplier evaluation.