If you treat suppliers fairly and openly they will continue to participate in your strategic sourcing events.

May 26th, 2011

A key to fair treatment of incumbent as well as potential future suppliers is detailed open and consistent communication.

We regularly conduct surveys as part of our SOP when we have completed an online e-RFX. These surveys are pivotal to ensuring that participants in our customer’s events were treated fairly. What our suppliers have told us makes events successful for them and would encourage them to participate again even if they did not happen to be the low bidder in a particular event is that this is an educational process for their company and ultimately becomes a way to do old things in a new way. To a company our suppliers encourage the following. Openly communicate with all suppliers and make sure they understand everything and are completely comfortable with specifications, terms and conditions, quoting instructions etc. Take the time to be complete even if they have participated in the past. Make sure they have no questions.
 
Here is a sample list of questions that should be considered when inviting or encouraging suppliers as  participants.

1. Does the supplier understand that there is no cost to them to participate?
2. Do they understand they will be trained at know charge?
3. Do they understand event timing and requirements?
4. Does the supplier understand the terms being used and how they apply to a strategic sourcing event such as?
a. Current Price
b. Reserve Price
c. Index Price
d. Mixed price evaluation
e. Low Quote
f. Low quote indicator
g. Last entry indicator
h. Funds
i. Terms
j. Notes
k. Extensions
l. Matching quotes
m. Event  rules
n. Product specifications
o. Samples
p. Award of business

At the heart of it, this is common sense. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Unfortunately many companies don’t always follow this practice and as such, it negatively impacts the sustainability of their strategic sourcing program.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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