One of the questions in a recent survey asked, If you've been in purchasing for more than five years, what responsibilities do you have today that you didn't have five years ago? The three most common answers were:
1. Manage other purchasers
2. Negotiate with suppliers
3. Supplier / Vendor Development and Management
This indicates that there has been a significant change in the way organizations view their suppliers. No longer are suppliers merely insignificant entities to fulfill needs--they are now strategic partners as supplier performance can greatly impact an organization's operational efficiency, cost structure, and ability to serve its own customers. Having a good supply base provides an organization with a competitive advantage.
Furthermore, strategic organizations can reap great benefits from supplier relationships through the exchange of ideas, collaboration that improves product and service offerings, and the identification of common goals that lead to shared rewards. However, this requires that buyers work closely with the supplier to improve the supplier's capabilities (development) and put systems and procedures in place to measure, communicate, and improve the supplier's performance (measurement).
Source: Esourcingforum, http://www.esourcingforum.com
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