Are you really comfortable with all of your current sources of supply?

August 15th, 2013

Are your suppliers still comfortable with you?

If your answer is yes, there is a good chance that you are paying more for products, services and related solution bundles than you should be!

Being comfortable is great. Sometimes however being to comfortable can also creates complacency. We all know we have co-workers that come to work every day and do only what they perceive their job to be. They arrive on time and leave on time. They really never do anything extra. Also, very few ideas come from these folks that are just comfortable with what they are doing and how they are doing it. They do a reasonable job, but that’s really about it.

So what happens when we apply this type of complacency to our knowledge workers in the supply chain and you know we have them? If we are being honest with ourselves; we see this situation all the time.

 Here’s an example: A buyer you know has a list of products or a category manager has a category that they are responsible for. There are only so many hours in the day and they have a job to do in order to get product to a distribution center, warehouse, store or some other location on time. They have done business with the same single supplier or couple of suppliers for a number of years. In fact the person in the job before them did business with these same suppliers and the person before that did as well. It’s just easier to not rock the boat. It takes to much time to look for new sources of supply (think Google) and after all one can only manage so many relationships in the first place (Excuse). Finally the buyer is comfortable with product quality and the pricing has not gone up to much over time.

With the help of a good eProcurement provider, this situation is easily rectified, but you need to be open to change. This is normally led from the top of the organization, not the worker we mentioned above. The following is a partial list of what you can do to eliminate complacency and support the fact that you knowledge workers don’t have a lot of free time.

1.   Provide your e-procurement company with a list of your suppliers by category.
2.   Provide your e-procurement provider with a complete list of products carried by each supplier.
3.   Ask your e-procurement provider to produce a list of new sources of national and regional supply  with a facility within a reasonable radius of each distribution center or warehouse
4.   Ask your e-procurement provider to provide data on each supplier’s including incumbent’s safety and environmental certifications.
5.   Ask your e-procurement provider to provide supplier background information such as years in business and user references.
6.   Run an eRFI on each of these suppliers.
7.   Visit the best few as well as your current suppliers.

If you’re interested, additional steps to this process can be provided by SafeSourcing as a part of our best practices deliverables which are included in our event pricing. The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier database includes over 457,000 global sources of supply that can be sorted with a variety of filters such as country, county, postal code or mileage from a particular location, plus many more.

If you’d like to learn more about new sources of supply for your cost of goods, expense or capital expenditures, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer’s Services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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