I received an email yesterday from one of our site’s visitors who had asked for the definition of supplier development. Most people who can use email use Google, so it made me curious as to whether there were any good definitions of supplier development out there in cyberspace.

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Much to my surprise, there weren’t.

So I responded with my own definition of supplier development. And, here, I’ll share it with you, too…

Supplier development can be loosely defined as the process of working collaboratively with your suppliers to improve or expand their capabilities. An example may be teaching a supplier how to manufacture a type of item that they never manufactured before for the purposes of giving you the option to buy, rather than make, that item. In recent years, it is has become increasingly common for buying organizations to train their suppliers in Six Sigma and Lean techniques.

Nothing fancy, but at least it will contribute in some small way to the body of purchasing knowledge that’s out there in cyberspace. Google, this post is waiting for you…

Charles Dominick, SPSM
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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