Are You More Like a Reactive or Strategic Supplier Development Professional?

In the supplier development literature, several researchers have recognised that supplier development is strategically important for the overall success of the firm and in turn contributes to a sustainable competitive edge and is considered one of the building blocks of supplier management practices. Authors like Wagner (2006a), Krause et al. (1998) suggested that it is important to identify, as part of a supplier strategy, which suppliers are ‘key’ suppliers and how they are to be treated differently. For example, it might be argued that strategic supplier development is only viable for ‘key’ suppliers and supplier switching might be an option […]

Supplier Development Programme

Supplier Development Programme in Lean Six Sigma and SME Context

Many companies have started supplier development programme but it is mainly focused on strategic suppliers. In the last 25 years the number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has increased by 50% and these are now responsible for more than half of all the jobs and contribute towards some 35% of gross domestic product (GDP); and the management theories and enterprise research that have been developed and applied to the corporate sector are difficult to replicate in small business, as SME’s are not large firms in miniature and hence are not simply the scaled-down version of large enterprises. Instead, SMEs […]

supplier development activities

20 Well Researched & Proven Supplier Development Activities You can Apply

The subject of supplier development activities, practices, and success factors is researched in 36 out of the 81 articles I have researched. Therefore this makes it the most frequently discussed subject in the topic of supplier development. Various types of supplier development activities and resources exist and are mentioned by many researchers, some of which require an intensive. This list of supplier development activities is classified as Direct (D) or Indirect (I) activities, their definitions are discussed in this blog. During my research only one article, by Krause and Scannel (2002), compare the supplier development activities between product and service […]

Supplier Quality

Brief Guide to Supplier Quality & Supplier Development

Why Focus of  Supplier Quality & Supplier Development? Supplier Quality is responsible to track and improve our approved suppliers’ performance in terms of number of complaints, caused line stop/ escapes, DPPM (Defect parts per million). We value our suppliers and in the meantime challenge them to take responsibility and ownership in our effort to continuously improve our services and product quality. Each business level should define its weakest supplier pool (Focus 5) where shared efforts with impacted suppliers must be carried out in order to gain acceptable quality level as defined in your company Quality Objectives. The reason of the […]


In the supply chain literature as well as in business environments Supplier Relationship Management and Buyer Supplier Relationship have multiple definitions, shapes and extensions. There are diverse interpretations, especially considering that the determinants and their perceptions changed throughout the time. Yet, due to the globalisation, economic and political turmoil, a stable and intense Supplier Relationship Management is more imperative than ever. Hence, we tried to find the benefits and key approaches and techniques for enhancing the Buyer Supplier Relationship. Firms put emphasis on having good supplier-relationships and profit by doing so in long-run. Previously, however, this technique is sometimes instinctive, […]

supplier relationship management

2 Strategic Ways to Improve Supplier Relationship Management

Buyer and supplier relationships can only occur if both sides obtain some gain from trade that occurs between the supply of goods or services and their exchange for money, is this a good enough reason for supplier relationship management? Probably yes because no one would trade with anyone else if both sides did not gain something that they value from the exchange relationship. Whether we like it or not, whether we want to say that out loud or not, for me the buyer and suppliers primarily indulge in exchange relationship in order to satisfy their desire for money and benefit […]

Supplier Development Initiatives

5 Supplier Development Initiatives to Create Improvement Projects

In order for firms to compete effectively and survive in the global market, they must maintain and build relationships with a capable and competent network of suppliers and extract maximum value through such relationships. To create and maintain such a network and to improve capabilities that are necessary for the buying organization to meet its increasing competitive challenges, the buying firm may engage in Supplier Development Initiatives to improve the performance of supply base both reactively and strategically. But the question is where should those initiatives come from in your Supplier Development Programme? Supplier Development Initiatives In my experience Supplier […]

What is Direct and Indirect Supplier Development Process?

Definition of Direct and Indirect Supplier Development Process In my research I have found 14 papers that have discussed Supplier Development process as being either: direct; or indirect (Humphreys et al., 2004; Krause et al., 2000a; Modi and Mabert, 2007; Wagner 2006a; Wagner 2006b; Hines, 1994; Giunipero, 1990; Krause, 1997, Wagner, 2011; Inemek, 2011). Wagner (2006b) defines indirect Supplier Development process as when “the buying firm commits no or only limited resources to a specific supplier. There is no active involvement of the buying firm in the supplier’s operations, and know-how transferred from the buying firm does not occur”. Instead, […]

JIT Purchasing

JIT Purchasing – 3 Reasons why it is Different from Conventional Purchasing

JIT Purchasing different from Conventional Purchasing? Most of us have worked in both some sort of JIT purchasing (Just In Time purchasing) and conventional manufacturing business. However, in the lean environment, the supply chain process should be capable of supporting Just in Time manufacturing. Manufacturers and suppliers have to adopt an appropriate method of supply acquisition to have availability of right material at right time at the right price and in right quality. The Table by Abraham et. al. (1990) shows some of the differences between Just in Time purchasing and conventional purchasing you might be interested to read. Here […]

7 Questions You Need To Ask Before Starting Continuous Improvement Project

I have seen lot of Continuous Improvement (CI) Projects or Kaizen events started with lot of enthusiasm but more than often done badly,  and then the whole enthusiasm fads away… Why does this happen? It happens mainly because project scope or problem statement is not defined clearly, or in other words it is unclear that “how success is look like”. Since the sponsor wants it to look good. So they try to fudge the outcome or results in strange places with often obscure methods. It might look good for short while but it doesn’t effectively work. Fail in long term! If […]