Universal Journal of Management Vol. 8(3), pp. 63 - 73
DOI: 10.13189/ujm.2020.080303
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Supplier Relationship Management Goes Digital: First Empirical Insights

Elisabeth Fröhlich 1,*, Kristina Steinbiß 2
1 CBS International Business School, Germany
2 ESB Business School, Reutlingen University, Germany


In an increasingly competitive environment, suppliers are now seen as an important source of innovation. Long-term partnerships enable companies to access the knowledge of suppliers to optimize their business. "Procurement 4.0" is one of the concepts that come to the fore when talking about digitalization of business processes. The major aim of this research is to discuss a conceptual model of "Procurement 4.0" and its potential to rethink the management of supplier relationships, which will be one of the main future tasks of procurement. The paper is based on a factual-analytical research approach that serves to continuously specify and supplement the elements of the frame of reference: Two challenging concepts, "Procurement 4.0" and Supplier Relationship Management, are merged to contribute to the fact that purchasing is indispensable as an "interface" within a global supply chain to reap the benefits of digitization. The factors that prove to be obstacles to digital supplier relationship management along the digital supplier journey - e.g. lack of guidelines, approaches or tools and a lack of understanding of the importance of long-term relationships - are reflected within the identified technologies of digital transformation. A comprehensive analysis of the given situation within digital supplier relationship management in Germany is provided. The most important digital supplier touchpoints are discussed in order to develop a traditional supplier relationship towards a digital relationship management. Thus, this paper succeeds in illustrating how the innovative concept of a supplier journey can be implemented in practice to counteract the future, entrepreneurial challenges.

Supplier Relationship Management, Procurement 4.0, Digitalization, Strategic Procurement, Digital Purchasing, Maturity Models in Procurement, Supplier Journey

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Elisabeth Fröhlich , Kristina Steinbiß , "Supplier Relationship Management Goes Digital: First Empirical Insights," Universal Journal of Management, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 63 - 73, 2020. DOI: 10.13189/ujm.2020.080303.

(b). APA Format:
Elisabeth Fröhlich , Kristina Steinbiß (2020). Supplier Relationship Management Goes Digital: First Empirical Insights. Universal Journal of Management, 8(3), 63 - 73. DOI: 10.13189/ujm.2020.080303.