In this example you will:
- Learn what a supplier forum is
- Discover a step-by-step approach to setting effective agenda items
- See an example of a successful supplier forum
What are supplier forums?
A supplier forum is a tool for communication between government supply chain management organisations and private suppliers. Holding supplier forums encourages networking for beneficial relationships beyond the forum. Supplier forums are networking meetings between supply chain management organisations from the public sector and private sector suppliers (individuals or organisations providing supply chain products or services). They can be centred on a particular health programme (e.g. HIV/AIDS) or a particular functional activity in the supply chain (e.g. freight forwarding).
Supplier forums share best practices, strategic approaches, innovation and product developments, scientific and regulatory updates between the public sector and private suppliers. They are a platform to encourage interactions and networking among participants that can initiate beneficial and long-lasting relationships beyond the forum.
Supplier forums occur periodically on scheduled dates at set locations. The government would host the forum and invite participants from the private sector at their discretion. The private sector can also fulfil the role of host. The forum contains a set agenda for participants to follow. This might include breakaway sessions on specific topics with time allocated for networking or discussion.
Step-by-step approach to setting deliberate and effective agenda items
A successful supplier forum agenda can adopt a ‘3P’ approach. Adopting a ‘3P’ approach ensures supplier forums are planned and executed well to achieve their purpose. The 3 'P's stand for purpose, people and process.
1. Purpose: Begin by defining the overall purpose of the supplier forum in a discernible manner, why it is being held and what it aims to achieve. Construct the purpose statement as a ‘do-able’ such as ‘to share best practices in warehouse management’. If there are breakaway subject-specific sessions planned for the forum, define the purpose for each session.
2. Process: Define how the agenda items will run, what specific things will take place within the supplier forum to achieve the purpose (e.g. presentations, panel discussions, networking sessions).
3. People: Define who will attend the supplier forum to achieve the purpose. Invite participants in a timely manner and ensure they understand what is expected of them when they arrive at the forum.
Example of a successful supplier platform
The Nutrition Health programme forum hostedby the united nations international children’s fund is an example of a successful supplier platform. A two-day forum in 2019 to learn about progress made towards meeting nutrition-supply related result indicators (purpose statement). The forum was structured in breakaway sessions on topics of supply chain functions, each with an agenda and technical experts (where relevant). The agenda from the two-day forum is outlined below.
Nutrition supply forum - Agenda Day 1
Welcome and opening remarks
UNICEF Supply Division overview
Sustainable Development Goals and UNICEF's nutrition strategy
Update on WHO Guidelines on Nutrition including scientific evidence requirements for new RUTF products
Procurement and contracting session
UNICEF's influencing markets approach
UNICEF Nutrition procurement overview and update for key commodities
WFP Nutrition procurement overview and update for key commodities
USAID/FFP Nutrition procurement overview and update for key commodities
Supplying to UNICEF - contracting process for nutrition products and contract management
Panel discussion: market experience with raw materials - dairy, peanuts, vitamins and minerals
Anthropometric equipment: tender and market update
Technical and quality assurance session
Quality Assurance System for Nutrition Products - Policy Framework
Results of UNICEF Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) and testing of nutritional products in 2018+ Trending of test results for improved performance
Specifications and quality assurance for anthropometric equipment
GMP Inspections: new trends and major observations
Updates on regulation: Codex and RUTF & MNP
Nutrition supply forum - Agenda Day 2
Technical and quality assurance session
Inter-Agency stability requirements for specialized foods
Process capability and statistical process control (SPC)
Update from Inter-Agency working group for specialized Nutritious Food Products
Upstream and downstream supply chain session
UNICEF response to emergencies
Supply chain of nutrition products and supply chain issues
Markets, products and innovation session
UNICEF's approach to innovation and scaling up innovation for nutrition
RUTF formulations with alternative ingredients
Innovation height measuring devices
Market place with presentations and exhibitions on various topics
Wrap-up and closing
Summary of Enabler Tool: Advocacy and governance
This Enabler Tool, Advocacy and governance, has focused on how to develop an advocacy process for developing outsourcing buy-in. Advocacy and governance have guided you through understanding stakeholder expectations, guidelines for advocacy processes and tools and supplied examples of governance structure and communication platforms. Advocacy and governance work with Policy, People and Technology to support the Process Steps.