The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Supplier management SUPP

The alignment of an organisation’s supplier performance objectives and activities with sourcing strategies and plans, balancing costs, efficiencies and service quality. The establishment of working relationships based on collaboration, trust, and open communication in order to encourage co-innovation and service improvement with suppliers. The proactive engagement of suppliers for mutual benefit to resolve operational incidents, problems, poor performance and other sources of conflict. The use of clear escalation paths for discussing and resolving issues. The management of performance and risks across multiple suppliers (internal and external) using a set of agreed metrics.

Moving to SFIA 8 

There is an updated version of this skill for SFIA 8. 

  • The skill descriptions have been edited for readability and guidance notes have been added 
  • Details available here - SFIA 8 Supplier management 
  • SFIA 7 skill descriptions will remain available for you to use 
  • Previous SFIA assessments are not impacted by this change. 



Defined at these levels: 2 3 4 5 6 7

Supplier management: Level 1

This skill is not typically observed or practiced at this level of responsibility and accountability.

Supplier management: Level 2

Assists in the collection and reporting on supplier performance data. Assists with the routine day-to-day communication between the organisation and suppliers.

Supplier management: Level 3

Acts as the routine contact point between the organisation and suppliers. Supports resolution of supplier related incidents, problems, or unsatisfactory performance. Collects and reports on supplier performance data.

Supplier management: Level 4

Collects supplier performance data and investigates problems. Monitors and reports on supplier performance, customer satisfaction, and market intelligence. Validates that suppliers' performance is in accordance with contract terms. Engages proactively and collaboratively with suppliers to resolve incidents, problems, or unsatisfactory performance. Implements supplier management-related service improvement initiatives and programmes.

Supplier management: Level 5

Manages suppliers to meet key performance indicators and agreed targets. Manages implementation of supplier service improvement actions. Use suppliers' expertise to support and inform development roadmaps. Manages operational relationships between suppliers. Ensures potential disputes or conflicts are raised at an early stage, with clear escalation paths for resolving them. Performs bench-marking and makes use of supplier performance data to ensure that supplier performance is properly monitored and regularly reviewed. Identifies constraints and opportunities when negotiating or renegotiating contracts.

Supplier management: Level 6

Develops organisational policies, standards, and guidelines to ensure effective supplier management across the integrated supply chain. Defines the approach for commercial communications, and the management and maintenance of the relationship between the organisation and suppliers. Creates an environment in which the organisation and its suppliers collaborate to their mutual benefit, ensuring positive and effective working relationships are developed and maintained across the supply chain. Ensures that resources and tools are in place to conduct bench-marking. Reviews supplier analysis and assesses effectiveness across the supply chain. Assures that the quality of the services delivered by suppliers meet contractual commitments and business needs. Manages risks associated with information security, continuity and integrity of supply.

Supplier management: Level 7

Determines overall supplier management strategy, embracing effective management and operational relationships at all levels. Leads collaborative supplier partnerships that reduce costs and risks, and create opportunities for innovation and value creation. Aligns supplier performance objectives and relationship management activities with business and commercial objectives and sourcing strategies. Establishes a framework to monitor the service provided and deliver commercial value over the lifetime of the contract. Puts in place, and has overall responsibility for, conformance to legislation; supply chain management; commercial governance; risk management policies for selection of suppliers and bench-marking their performance. Represents the organisation in commercially significant disputes involving suppliers.