Happy With Your Suppliers? If Not, Then What?

There are approximately 25,000 machine shops in the US. When combined with all the other metalworking job shops, there must be on the order of 50,000 such businesses available.  This is the most common type of outsourced manufacturing we work on, so you may be one of those who’s looked for a machine shop, fabricator, spring/wire former, or extruder source in the past 5-10 years.  If so, how’s your decision working out for you?   How… Read More

Supplier Evaluations? A 2-Way Situation

Supplier evaluation is a frequent LinkedIn group discussion.  Since Proficient Sourcing’s business is to help identify appropriate and excellent manufacturing suppliers, these discussions are of particular interest. Our work typically involves generating candidates for new supplier situations.  Evaluation criteria are focused on price and delivery, with an assumption of appropriate quality.  As time moves on, other factors come into play. These other factors include meeting promised dates (all things besides shipments), effective communications, how problems… Read More

Evaluation of a Potential Supplier: 1.0

A number of procurement consultants’ websites and discussion groups deal with factors that define a good potential supplier and also what are important evaluation factors.  Several things are mentioned most often in addition to price.  This is particularly relevant to Proficient Sourcing, as we are in the business of providing supplier candidates to OEM buyers, and are acutely aware of the need for excellent performance. We posted the question of criteria for selecting new suppliers… Read More

Complex Sourcing Project (in process)

For over 10 years we have been interested in obtaining government contracts for manufactured parts or even products. After all, given we have a large and varied network of custom manufacturers, we should be a desireable connection for contracts.   Now we are in the midst of a significant government contract for a multi-year and multi-million dollar project. This work is a good example of the sort of thing we do. Perhaps it would fit… Read More

Impeachment in Procurement?

President Trump’s first few months have been immersed in controversy, and the term “impeachment” often comes up. Apparently, some people seem serious about that. Former Speaker Boehner recently noted that impeachment is a political process, not a legal one, which sounds useful to keep in mind. It’s not a business procedure either, but we found an intriguing and very short piece in the 5/23/17 Next Level Purchasing Association’s blog that recommended creating a contingency plan… Read More

Low Cost Innovation—the hidden benefit!

Your suppliers may be a low-cost path to ongoing and effective innovation. Here’s a quote from a thought provoking article from the Procurement Leaders 8/26/14 blog: “Properly managed and incentivized by procurement, suppliers can be a great source of innovation. In fact, in some companies, supplier-initiated innovation happens regularly through such things as suggested design alternatives, alternative manufacturing approaches, even ideas on streamlining internal processes.” If you are fortunate enough to have such a supplier relationship,… Read More

Get better RFQ responses: Part 1

If you seek a new supplier and are considering ones you don’t know, we believe you can do some rather simple things to get better RFQ results. We have lots of thoughts on this; future newsletters will have more. Most of what we see is an RFQ to manufacture or fabricate some metal or plastic part, or perhaps some assembly. Our job is to recommend candidates for this new situation. The RFQ wants a price… Read More

Trade Agreements – Election Year Fodder

Trade agreements have become a frequently heard subject this election season. Recently, Gov. Kasich (R-OH) appeared in Obama’s White House to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which contradicts the position of his party’s presidential candidate. That’s an unusual move in politics, so just what’s going on here? According to a helpful BBC article from July, 2016, the TPP involves 12 countries: the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and… Read More

Price vs. Long Term Supplier Relationships

Do buyers initiate new supplier relationships with the long term in mind or is a request for quote simply a low price search? There are lots of opinions on this, and situational circumstances vary widely. Proficient Sourcing deals with situations involving custom manufacturing of parts, assemblies, and occasionally building complete products and equipment for others. As is the case with many markets, we believe there are indisputable benefits to long term supplier-buyer relationships. Getting there,… Read More

Engaging Suppliers as Strategic Partners

“As Procurement professionals most of us are highly skilled at strategic sourcing and negotiating contracts. However, experience and research tell us that a significant portion of the value will leak away if we do not manage our agreements. Products change, pricing terms need updating, contract language may be subject to interpretation, key cost drivers are not managed and other contract compliance issues may arise. These issues are especially problematic if they occur with our most… Read More