Sourcing Results and Supplier Participation

November 18th, 2013

When running sourcing projects are you getting the participation and results you need?”

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

When we help our customers run sourcing projects one of our mottos is that is must have participation and it must generate results.  Seldom will you get one without the other.  In today’s blog we will be taking a look at some of the ways you can begin laying the groundwork to cover both of these areas successfully. 

Understanding the results you need – The first thing that must be established regardless of what stage in the RFx process you are starting with, knowing the results you are looking to achieve is the first critical step.  This may come in the way of establishing who the key suppliers in a new category or for a new product of service.  During this stage another key piece may be to understand if there are any new technologies or services the suppliers are offering that you are unaware of.  Collection of data is an important result for a Request For Information stage.  Some results may deal with prices you need to see from the suppliers or a compression of current pricing that may result from consolidating disparate spends into a bigger opportunity.  Once you understand what type of results you need you can begin shaping where you begin in the procurement process.

Setting the definition of success – As critical as understanding what type of results you need is establishing the bar for which you will measure how successful the project was.  In the way of a request for information, that may mean having a list of 5 vendors who are able and experienced to handle a business like yours from which you will pick 2 to present.  Another definition for success is to not only understand what each of your locations is doing but also to understand the impact of running a procurement exercise to consolidate those 12 suppliers down to 3.  Part of understanding if the project is successful will be to understand which locations will be most effective with which of those 3 suppliers.  This requires a project that returns, by location, the current spend, incumbent, incumbent new pricing and pricing from the best of the 3 suppliers you are narrowing your choice down to.  The definition of success will create the structure of your event and the reporting that is output.

Bringing the suppliers – Part of the research of every event should be to understand the supplier landscape of a product or service.  There are some products with very little competition and there are others with great options for suppliers to participate.  Participation in any part of the RFx process is critical to achieving the results you are looking for.  Part of this process begins with screening the suppliers before the process begins through internal research or third party tools and processes.  Once you have the vetted list of suppliers you must work with them to make sure they are willing to complete the project whether in the form of an RFP response or participation in an online bidding event.  Some suppliers will present reasons why they do not want to participate and the challenge here is make sure the process does not end with the first response and if necessary raising the objection up the ladder so that they are aware that they will not get an opportunity to bid in the future if they do not participate in the beginning stages.   Supplier participation will make all the difference in obtaining the results you need.
There are many ways SafeSourcing can assist your company with getting your results and ensuring you have good supplier representation.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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