Supplier selection is an important step in your procurement process. In fact, a survey of procurement professionals found supplier selection to be one of the top three challenges facing those who said suppliers were their number one challenge. However, when handled carefully, supplier selection can lead to time savings throughout the procurement process and maximize the quality of the end result.
Here are some tips on changes you can make in your selection process to make it more efficient and how these changes will improve your procurement process.
Ways to increase efficiency in supplier selection
What changes can you make to streamline the selection process?
- Identify and shortlist suppliers
Before you even send out an RFP, make sure to research potential suppliers and start to weed out any that might not be a good fit. This ensures from the beginning that you’re only communicating with suppliers who will work well with your organization.
- Request consistent response structure
When you send out your RFP to chosen suppliers, make sure to be clear about how you expect the responses to be formatted. This makes it easier to compare suppliers to one another, thereby making the selection process faster and more accurate.
- Prioritize selection criteria internally
Deciding which criteria are the most important to your business objectives will help you evaluate responses. Try using a ranking system, like factor rating, to assign weights to each of the criteria. Upon evaluation, each supplier will be given a score and can then be evaluated more clearly according to their strengths and shortcomings.
- Build an internal selection process
Once you’ve nailed down what techniques work for you organization, formalize the selection process so that it works like clockwork in the future.
- Store data for future use
A supplier information management tool should be implemented to save supplier data during the procurement process to use during future selections. This will make it quicker to choose suppliers and manage their data for future RFPs. A SIM solution can also act as a single source of truth for suppliers in all divisions of an organization.
- Implement an e-sourcing solution
An e-sourcing solution can enable faster communication with suppliers and streamlined RFP comparison. Plus, it will improve supplier relationships, so long as it makes it easier for suppliers to submit bids and they can use it at no extra cost.
Benefits of efficient supplier selection
Why should your organize work to improve this part of the process?
When your supplier selection process runs smoothly, it sets expectations internally and externally with suppliers. It helps avoid miscommunication and confusion which can stall the entire procurement process.
- Time savings
Enabling efficient supplier selection increases time savings across the procurement process.
Choosing the wrong supplier can lead to misalignment with the business objectives your organization is trying to accomplish. Efficient supplier selection reduces the risk that your goals will not be met.
While supplier selection should not equate to choosing the supplier with the lowest costs, it can increase the cost-effectiveness by maximizing the value your organization receives for the cost.
- Supplier relationships
As painful as an inefficient procurement process is for your organization, it’s equally or more painful for suppliers. Making the process efficient and clear helps make it easier to focus on supplier relationship management over the long term.