PurchTips - Edition # 141

 

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Doing Better Business With Small Suppliers

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Can You Predict Risk With Small Suppliers?

In PurchTips Edition #139, you learned that there are risks associated with doing business with big suppliers. Small suppliers do have certain advantages such as fewer channels to go through to get responses and sometimes even lower cost due to less overhead.

But you also need to understand that small suppliers can cause big problems when they perform poorly. Three precautions I recommend taking with a new, small supplier are: investigate the supplier's history, evaluate the supplier's capacity, and don't pay 100% up front.

Investigate The Supplier's History. I get shocked when buyers don't even do a quick Internet search on suppliers for small orders. That's inviting trouble.

Business Small Supplier

Beyond Google, though, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers a valuable free service for consumers and corporate buyers to investigate supplier histories. "[The BBB can] help by collecting and reporting information on over 3 million businesses to help prospective buyers make informed decisions," said Warren King, President of BBB of Western Pennsylvania.

Through www.bbb.org, you can learn if a supplier has had any complaints filed against it and, if so, whether they typically resolve them. It's a great way to identify a problem supplier before experiencing problems yourself.

I recommend that you use the BBB to resolve disputes with suppliers. Doing so creates a "social history" of supplier problems so that all buyers can benefit from others' experiences and fewer mistakes will be made.

Evaluate The Supplier's Capacity. With small suppliers - especially 1-person firms - you have to worry whether they will have too much work to respond to you. Interview the supplier and find out their other commitments, both in progress and in the pipeline. Make them demonstrate their available capacity.

When doing business, you need fast supplier response. Before ordering, call the supplier a few times to test if the response time is adequate for "real" situations.

Don't Pay 100% Up Front. When capacity fills, a supplier must prioritize the customers that it will serve on time. If you're concerned about a new, small supplier's capacity filling, it's best to pay in multiple payments rather than up-front, even if you end up paying more. Having to earn a payment is a strong incentive for a supplier to deliver high-priority performance.

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Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities

SPSM Certification

Are you tired of not getting enough opportunities, respect, and money out of your purchasing career? Well, guess what? Nothing will change unless you take action towards becoming a world-class purchasing professional.

You see, today's employers refuse to reward employees for yesterday's skills.They demand that purchasing professionals like you use the most modern skills and achieve unprecedented results. They want you to save more money, achieve better operational performance, and reduce risk.

Is lacking a purchasing certification keeping you from getting the results, opportunities, respect, and money that you want out of your career? Today's employers refuse to reward employees for yesterday's skills. They want you to save more money, achieve better operational performance, and reduce risk. They demand that purchasing professionals like you achieve unprecedented results and without the most modern skills that can be a challenging feat!

So how can you acquire the most modern skills, achieve meaningful results, and convincingly prove your capabilities to today's employers? There is an impressive purchasing certification program that will teach you what you need to accomplish all of this and more. It is the SPSM® Certification, earned by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program. And you could earn it in less than a year - maybe even much less than a year!

Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification (and perhaps get an iPad) (with the option of getting a Study Guide on an iPad) at:

Distinguishing yourself as an achiever in purchasing is key to sustaining a rewarding career, even in these difficult economic times. Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification (and perhaps get an iPad) at:

Earning your SPSM® Certification by completing the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices  into your organization and achieve your career potential. And if you sign up for the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program on or before May 31, 2008, SPSMSM Certification Program on or before 4/30/2007, you also get these and other bonuses valued at over $700:

  • FREE $30 gift certificate to Amazon.com!
  • FREE CD-ROM with printer-friendly versions of the class materials!
  • FREE Purchasing Performance Measurement spreadsheet template!
  • FREE audio CD about purchasing job security!

To learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification and get these valuable bonuses, visit:

Earning your Senior Professional in Supply Management® (SPSM) Certification is the action to takeif you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSMSM Certification at:

Learn how to earn your SPSM® Certification at:

www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/spsm.html



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FREE Offer!

Want to learn more about today's topic? Then check out my podcast interview with Warren King! Podcasts are digital audio files that you can listen to on your PC, download to your iPod/MP3 player, or burn to CD.

It's absolutely FREE to download the audio. And until December 18, 2007, you can still purchase transcripts for some of our previous podcasts!

Download This And Other Podcasts For FREE At
www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/podcast.


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This Starter Kit gives procurement professionals like you a clear idea on what it will take to become certified. You'll get an excellent feel for what you will need to learn and how long it will take.

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Included in your free Starter Kit:

  • Access to two lessons from courses that are part of the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program
  • A Certification & Training Planning Template
  • Case studies
  • A free Basic Membership in the NLPA

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If you are already a member of the NLPA, click here to login and visit the "Starter Kit" tab to access these resources.