SMI Releases Tool For Measuring Effective Relationships

Scituate, MA (September 18, 2006):  The Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI) released a new software tool for Measuring Effective Relationships at the AHRMM 44th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. The software tool, written in Microsoft Access®, was distributed to attendees at the conference and is available on the SMI website

In 2005, an SMI Team representing both providers and suppliers was assembled to identify methods to measure the effectiveness, beyond cost, of business relationships. The Team first organized the factors that impact a trading partner relationship into six categories:

  1. Financial
  2. Relationship
  3. Quality
  4. Safety
  5. Service
  6. Technology

Each category was then further defined into relationship elements to be collaboratively analyzed by trading partners. Over 40 pre-programmed relationship elements are incorporated into the software tool, with user flexibility built-in to expand the number of elements. 

The customizable software was developed as a relationship management tool for both trading partners - buyers and sellers - to measure and monitor progress during their business relationship. Together, both trading partners mutually assign weights to the relationship elements deemed most important to them, with the ability to add new elements or disregard pre-programmed elements as needed. Both partners then assign scores to the relationship elements, while also identifying the most critical elements and elements that need attention. The Measuring Effective Relationships software tool will calculate total scores and produce reports that reveal total scores by elements, critical relationship elements, special user-input notes, and categories and elements that require more management attention. In addition, the tool's reporting package can show a relationship's progress over multiple measurement periods, with graphic display capabilities.

"This user-friendly tool can prove invaluable for industry supply-chain professionals who want to maximize the value of their business relationships", said John Gaida, Vice President with Texas Health Resources, and a Co-Leader of the SMI team. Frank Martorella, Vice President with Corporate Express, also a Co-Leader of the SMI Team, explained "I am using this tool with strategic accounts, and it has helped to identify both relationship elements where our partnerships are performing quite well and elements where we need to work together for improvement".