Category: Supplier

When do you switch suppliers?

I’ve never heard the process of switching suppliers described as easy.  People may say that it “went smoothly” or “could have gone worse,” but the reality is that it’s not easy.  Because of this, many organizations delay the process and experience increased costs and consumer dissatisfaction as a result. Questions to consider:

How well are your suppliers performing?

In a recent post, we discussed several New Year’s goals that we frequently hear from clients and prospects around this time of year.  One of the most common is evaluating and improving supplier performance. We know that suppliers may appear qualified at first and then fail to deliver the required quality after time and money have been invested in project development. Other suppliers have many of the desired capabilities for your projects but are inconsistent in quality and performance. Supplier switching costs can be very high and risks to quality and delivery unacceptable. Juran describes the process of supplier evaluation as: The evaluation of …

Best Practices For Minimizing Global Supplier Risk

We were just reading through an article posted by Supply Chain Management Review that discusses Four Best Practices for Minimizing Global Supplier Risk.  As a third-party quality engineering and consulting firm, we get questions about this often and have written a handful of articles related to the topic. We like the SCMR’s four best practices, but did want to add some additional comments. 1) Make routine site visits. It can be quite costly to manage routine site visits, whether your supplier is domestic or abroad.  All of the benefits discussed in the article can be achieved by partnering with a …

3 Ways to Improve Communications with Suppliers

Developing and maintaining strong supplier partnerships depends on a solid foundation of successful communication. In our thirty years of experience at the table with clients and suppliers around the world, we’ve seen a range of outcomes where communications are concerned.  The impact is quite often more substantial than you may think, with some arguing that communications are the primary reason for a partnership’s success or failure. Certainly, there is no shortage of recommendations out there for improving communications.  However, our three recommendations focus on suppliers and our observations over the years. 1. Recognize that communication is about understanding.  In order …