Original Research

Supplier relationship management leverages intellectual capital for increased competitive advantage

C. R. Van Zyl
Acta Commercii | Vol 5, No 1 | a66 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v5i1.66 | © 2005 C. R. Van Zyl | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2005 | Published: 05 December 2005

About the author(s)

C. R. Van Zyl, Nedbank Limited, South Africa

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The main purpose of this article is to demonstrate how supplier relationship management (SRM) enables the capture and creation of intellectual capital, thereby attaining and sustaining a strategic competitive advantage and increasing supply chain profitability. In order to achieve this purpose, a large part of the article is devoted to exploring the relatively new and unknown field of SRM. It is shown that an organisation must possess a thorough understanding of good supplier characteristics and of the drivers, benefits and requirements for the successful implementation of SRM, in order to enable that organisation to leverage their supplier relationships to ensure the capture of supplier expertise, patents, experiences etc. (i.e. their intellectual capital). The article then explores how the integration of technology in SRM applications can improve the efficiency of supplier collaboration and intellectual capital capture and creation. It is then demonstrated how efficient and collaborative supplier relationships improve supply chain profitability and competitiveness. Lastly, the article explores the implementation pitfalls and trends of SRM that must be constantly considered and monitored by an organisation in order to continually capture and create intellectual capital and reap the full benefits of SRM. This exploration involved an examination of contemporary literature, theories and business cases and subsequently revealed that SRM is a vital discipline/philosophy that must be implemented by any organisation wishing to achieve greater supply chain efficiency and competitiveness. This competitiveness can only be achieved through the mutual unlocking, sharing and leveraging of intellectual capital.


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