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10 pieces of supplier information you should know in under 60 seconds

Posted by Gary Plant on Mar 16, 2016 9:30:00 AM

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How well do you know your suppliers?

I can imagine that right now you’re thinking one of two things – either, that you could answer every question that you were asked on all of your suppliers. Or, that you’re uncertain about your supplier’s information, and would feel a little stressed should you have to recall any in under 60 seconds.

Whichever side you’re leaning more towards, this blog is about to put you to the test…

Here are the top 10 pieces of supplier information you should know (or have access to) in under 60 seconds:

1. Company information

A little basic yes - but you should be able to state easily the following:

  • Who the company are
  • What they do
  • Their size
  • Their location
  • And what skillset they bring to your supply chain

…as comfortably as you recite your ABC’s.

2. Management team

This is also key – if something bad was to happen, who is it you’re going to be dealing with. Do you know what their name is, what their job role is, or what their responsibilities are? Make sure that you do.

3. Compliance information

When authorising and approving your suppliers, you will have obtained various evidence to ensure that their claims ‘check out’. Keep track of where you keep these – you never know when they’ll be useful to you.

Best Practice Guide to Supply Chain Compliance Now Available >

4. Contact details

Again, this might seem like an obvious piece of information that you’ll need to know – while it isn’t necessary for you to remember these details; it is vital to have them stored somewhere that is easily accessible – and always ensure they’re kept up to date.

5. Company profile

In some situations, it might be essential for you to know a concise description of your supplier. This could include their history, quality of their resources, current or anticipated performance and details of their reputation.

6. Insurance

This is imperative. Different suppliers will need different levels of coverage depending on the work that they will be carrying out for you. Always make sure that these documents are up to date and cover the supplier for their work.

7. Health and safety

Similar to insurance documents, this is also critical. Certain suppliers will have specified health and safety procedures that they have to follow at all times – you should know exactly what those are.

8. Financial information

You should always know the financial situation of your suppliers. Problems with cash flow could lead to problems or delays in the service or product that they provide. Checking the credit score of new suppliers and contractors is essential to negating risk that a poor financial company may bring.

9. Quality management

It wouldn’t be realistic for you to check the quality of every product that goes out to the client from your suppliers. It is integral that you know their quality management procedures inside and out, so you can be assured nothing will reach your client without being the highest quality.

If something bad were to happen, it would be easier for you to pinpoint where in the process it went wrong.

10. Products and services

While this might be an obvious one – knowing the products and services that your suppliers provide should be something that you remember. Just knowing the basic areas that they work in isn’t enough, you should have access to details of their procedures and product range, should something go wrong.

So, how do you think that you would do reciting (or finding) these pieces of supplier information in under 60 seconds? Why not put yourself to the test, choose a supplier and see how far you get – then identify the areas that you need to improve on.

Gaining supplier information fast could play an imperative role in how quickly your company could react in an emergency, so make sure that you take the time to get to know your supply chain and your individual suppliers.

Supply chain best practices

Knowing your suppliers is one thing, but understanding the best ways to manage your supply chain compliance is another. Download our guide, An Introduction to Supply Chain Compliance Best Practice and learn how to assess the capability of your suppliers, monitor their performance, and more.

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Photo credit: William Warby

Topics: Assessment Focus

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