What issues should a supply manager consider in determining whether a comprehensive evaluation of a potential supplier is appropriate?
The supply chain management may be considered a complex process where the supply manager may have to make different selection decisions. These decisions are directly related to the different aspects of the qualities that the supplier may possess which would help the manager make an optimal selection decisions. Future supply chain decision would need competent and trained managers for which organizations need to start investing in their supply managers immediately (Mangan & Christopher, 2005). For example the price of the supplied goods and raw material is directly related to the final price of the product that the customers would pay for it. So if the suppliers somehow manages to get an unexpectedly high price from the supply manager, the final price of the produced product may not be within a limit of the purchasing power of the consumers. Apart from the price, there are many other financial, personal and technical aspects of the supplier that the supply manager may have to consider while making a decision about the potential supplier. Some of these aspects are described in the bellow.
The communication process with the supplier
A supply manager has to assess the quality of the communication process from the start of his/her interaction with the potential suppliers. The suppliers may not be able to effectively communicate about the manager’s inquiries in the later stages when the supply chain has been established. This could have negative implications if the managers want their suppliers to provide feedback about the supplies that will be going on if the potential supplier has been selected. The suppliers should be assessed for the amount of openness and honesty that they show when presented with inquiries. Manipulative suppliers could be a wrong options to achieve a productive supply chain relation.
General Behavior of the Supplier
The success of the supply chain relations between the supply manager and the supplier is directly related to not only the behavior of the manager but also the supplier. Some suppliers may have a general negative behavior that can be assessed during the initial interactions with them. If this behavior prevails, it may not be in the best interests of the firm the manager is representing.
A Supply manager can easily look into the experience of the suppliers from their website or from the proposals they submit to get supply contracts. The manager must confirm that the supplier has enough experience in the supply of the intended goods and that the experience is not faked.
Quality of the intended products or material
When potential suppliers are assessed, the details of the quality of the products they are intending to supply must also be assessed. Different suppliers may have different prices and different qualities associated with their proposals. This is the duty of the manager to make an optimal decision.