Are you comfortable with your sources of supply? Are your suppliers comfortable with you?

September 16th, 2010

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

Being comfortable is great. Sometimes however being to comfortable can also create complacency. We all know we have coworkers that come to work everyday and do what only what they perceive their job to be. Nothing extra is ever done, and few ideas come from these folks that are just comfortable with what they are doing and how they are doing it. They do a good job at it, but that?s it.

Let?s apply this type of complacency to knowledge workers in the supply chain. If we are being honest with ourselves; we see this situation all the time.

?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 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. So its easy to not rock the boat. It takes to much time to look for new sources of supply and after all one can only manage so many relationships anyway. Finally the buyer is comfortable with product quality and pricing has not gone up to much over time.

With the help of your e-procurement solution?provider, this situation is easily rectified, but you need to be open to change. This is normally led from the top of the organization. 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.?As your e-procurement provider to produce a list of new sources of supply located within a fifty mile radius of each distribution center or warehouse
4.?Ask your e-procurement provider to provide data on each supplier?s including incumbent?s safety certifications such as GFSI and ISO.
5.?Ask your e-procurement provider to provide supplier background information such as years in business and user references.
6.?Select categories or products to source from your incumbents catalog and cross reference with new suppliers offerings.

The 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 360,000 global sources of supply that can be sorted by a variety of filters such as country, county, postal code or mileage from a particular location, plus many more.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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