• What are the top 5 factors you consider when deciding to partner with a supplier?

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  • Answers (8)

  • Chandhrika Venkataraman

    08/01/2015 01:49PM

    1. Supplier quality history
    2. Pricing
    3. Financial background to assess risk - What % of the supplier's business will you be contributing to (I would not want to be the single largest customer) and what % of your business will you give to the supplier (Again, would not want to depend on a single supplier)
    4. Responsiveness in ensuring On Time In Full Supply
    5. Innovation quotient

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    Joseph Toe Hi Chandhrika, Thanks so much for your response! I have a couple of follow up questions if you don't mind. When your company judges quality, what data points are you using? Also, how are you judging the innovation quotient of your suppliers.

    08/01/2015 04:25PM

    Chandhrika Venkataraman Joseph, Gauging quality for raw materials and packaging materials can be done through requesting specification sheets accompanying consignments over the past quarter. This is somewhat trickier for services because not all customers of your supplier might have defined their metrics in line with yours. For services, I would recommend sitting down with the prospective vendor to see what kind of data they might have that can match with your quality metrics. Sometimes this also helps to root out vendors because if your prospect has no metrics whatsoever, that might be a good indicator of whether they will work well for you or not.
    As far as Innovation goes, this is a subjective measure because there is no standard measure. I typically ask for case studies outlining initiatives such as cost-cutting or even process streamlining efforts etc. that the supplier might have undertaken internally.

    08/01/2015 04:35PM

    Joseph Toe Thanks Chandhrika!

    08/01/2015 04:44PM

  • Joanna McCarthy

    08/01/2015 09:47AM

    1.) Trust 2.) Value for Money 3.) Experience in the market 4.) Recognition of our company culture 5.) Flexibility

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    Joseph Toe Hi Joanna, Thanks so much for your reply. I'd love to learn a bit more about your mention of experience and recognition of company culture. With experience, are you basing this on their historical work, industry knowledge, or their reputation in the market. As for company culture, are the specific items you look for to designate fit?

    08/01/2015 04:29PM

  • Andrew Hooke

    13/01/2015 12:58AM

    For me its about values. Not necessarily cultural fit as that is quite broad. Its about an alignment of values. Under this umbrella mutual support and benefits can be more sustainably aligned. Cost and quality are all about values. Often this is not understood, but managing through value alignment addresses the respective needs of both parties.

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  • Pankaj Saluja

    08/01/2015 09:40AM

    A) Supplier Quality of Products B) Competitive Price C) Supplier Authenticity and Current Customers D) Response D Flexibilty to Changes

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    Joseph Toe Hi Pankaj, Thanks for responding and connecting! I'm seeing quality as a leading theme and was wondering how your company judges quality. Are there specific data points that matter most to you?

    08/01/2015 04:26PM

  • James Ferguson

    20/01/2015 07:52AM

    1. Trust 2. Professionalism (ease of working, attitude) 3. Technical Ability 4. Experience 5. Value

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  • Kate Lee

    13/01/2015 06:54PM

    You've already had some great comments. While you asked for 5, Frank Cavallaro wrote a great piece on 7 things to consider - while the post focuses on outsource partners, I think the considerations apply to suppliers as well. http://www.fronetics.com/7-things-consider-choosing-right-outsource-partner/

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  • Simon Lewis

    12/01/2015 10:57PM

    In no specific order:
    - Service Quality: Can't get this by looking at an RFx response alone;
    - Cultural Fit: In my mind this can also be interpreted as how much you trust them to deliver what you need and whether or not they will respond the way you need them to respond when issues arise;
    - Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): can't look at price alone;
    - Experience and references; and
    - Process maturity and alignment (with your own).

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  • Leanne Hill

    12/01/2015 10:07PM

    1. Cultural fit, i.e. the ability to work well together, share information and avoid surprises. 2. The Opportunity for mutual value generation, 3. Aligned strategic direction, 4. Executive level buy-in to support the delivery of what you promise, 5. Executive level buy-in the support the delivery of what you promise!

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