Moving Forward

Moving Forward   As you’ve already probably deduced, lists factor quite heavily into the vetting process. In fact, in the last several articles, I’ve given you lists of categories to vet . . .  and lists of questions to ask. Now, I must admit these articles have been fun to write, because I heart lists. Lists fit my personality. They’re easy to use. And boy, do they help me get things done. But lists alone […]

Red Flags

Red Flags Vetting prospective suppliers is part art, part science. To do it well, you’ll need to navigate in the gray, as well as calculate in black and white.  But as I have outlined recently, there has never been a more critical time to be sure that you have the correct partners to support strategic initiative launches, such as your participation in the circular economy. When you begin a partnership with a new supplier, you […]

The Unfair Competitive Advantage

The Unfair Competitive Advantage   As part of your vetting, you’ve asked your prospective supplier some questions, as well as a few more and a few more. But now what? Well, I’d suggest you find out what sets this supplier apart from all the others you’ve talked with. In short, what makes this potential partner unique, noteworthy, or distinctive? As you learn what makes a supplier exceptional, you’ll also need to understand how that competitive […]

The Quality of Your Partners

The Quality of Your Partners And now, Part 3 of our series on vetting potential suppliers. So far, we’ve defined vetting as a careful examination of a supplier’s practices, performance, and “personality.” When you vet a supplier, you learn who your potential partner is, what they do, and how they do it. In Part 1 of our series, we covered the who. In Part 2, we dealt with the what. And in this article, we’ll […]

Who’s Your Maker?

Who’s Your Maker?   Thanks to the general overview, you now have a good idea of who your potential supplier is. You have a handle on the supplier’s culture, values, customer service, and growth plans, as well as how they’d fit into your current matrix. So now, it’s time to learn what the supplier does. This means you’ll examine: (1) the supplier’s product development process, and (2) their expertise in sourcing. (That is, of course, […]