True partnerships with your suppliers will lead to mutually beneficial relationships. Making sure they are on the same page as you when your company grows is even more important. Many experts believe that measuring suppliers on a regular basis helps cultivate the relationships and keeps all parties healthy and happy.
Most of the procurement scorecards that companies utilize to assess their suppliers consist of the three core measurements: quality, on-time delivery, and price. These metrics are indeed critical, but they do not paint the entire picture of your supplier partnerships. Here are some additional items you should consider gauging to make sure the bond with your suppliers continues to strengthen over time.
Willingness to share
Is your supplier straightforward with you and does your supplier freely share information when you're working on a project or trying to find a new solution? This goes for the manufacturer as well. Price cannot be the only concern you relay to the supplier, you have to divulge your true needs so they can find the right solution.
Flexibility for unexpected demand
Can you count on your supplier to ramp up and support your growth when you receive a sudden wave of new business? Getting that new order is wonderful, but fulfilling it can turn into a nightmare if you don't have an adaptable supply chain.
Resources and analysis
Will your suppliers provide you access to their expertise? Suppliers possess a hefty amount of knowledge in their organization. Make sure you can take advantage of it and add strength to your relationship.
Can you reach your vendors when you need them? There should always be an open line of communication with your supply chain, especially if there is a problem. When there's a fire to put out, it becomes the number one priority for your organization. You can't wait days for a response when every passing second is crucial.
Everyone wants to be their supplier's most important customer. Even if you aren't the largest piece of business or even close to it, you shouldn't get tossed aside every time someone bigger needs additional service or product. Your business should be important, and the vendor's commitment should be reliable.
Obviously you don't want your suppliers involved in every aspect of your business, but you do need suppliers you can count on. Relying on the same three dusty metrics that have been in use since the inception of supply chains, won't tell the whole story. Incorporate the additional measurements above and the outcome will be true partners.