SEIC Methodology: Implementation

By Tom Nagle

By Tom Nagle


Implementation of Supplier-Enabled Innovation projects requires a wide range of input from within the organization and its suppliers. The time and processes used to deliver an SEI project do not belong to a single function, but do need to be coordinated if the outcome is to be timely and successful.


Procurement has a clear role to play in facilitating, but not necessarily leading or performing, the implementation work. Taking an innovation from need, to idea, to concept to prototype or trial completes the SEI journey.



The implementation module brings together the processes and approaches for taking an idea through to manufacturing, production or rollout. It demands solid risk and project management, and a cross-functional approach.


Maturity levels

Level 1: Opportunistic Innovation

Implementation is an expansion of the SEI project to include operational and infrastructure considerations, such as manufacturing or service-delivery design.


Level 2: Systemic Innovation

All areas of the business are involved in the development of implementation programs on a project basis to ensure all areas of organizational activity are aligned and coordinated.


Level 3: Interactive Innovation

A formal process exists for the co-development of implementation solutions between partners that include formal lines of authority, communication and review.


Level 4: Embedded Innovation

The processes and programs used to develop and implement SEI are continually reviewed by networks of partners and developed with the aim of increasing efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy.



No amount of ideas or identified needs will satisfy a CEO if new products or services aren’t developed, brought to market and made successful, and procurement should be involved in this process to the end. While the level of involvement may reduce, with other functions performing many of the roles, procurement’s role as facilitator should remain strong.

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