supply chain management

RFQ’s to new suppliers — getting good responses?

We experience new inquiries continuously and believe results for all sides could be improved.  People exploring new suppliers with RFQ’s may not get the response desired.  Suppliers may no-bid an inquiry, despite the fact that the work would be an excellent fit.  Why is this? As the economy improves, it’s a rising tide that raises (almost) all boats.  What this means is the potentially new suppliers have less time to fully consider new customer requirements. … Read More


Supplier Selection Criteria – Are We On The Same Page?

Proficient Sourcing provides custom manufacturing candidates for engineers, buyers, and others seeking outsourced manufacturing. To do that effectively we must identify companies that fit your requirements. During a long period of productivity consulting we developed a set of criteria for identifying good companies to recommend, and it would be extremely helpful if you would tell us if these criteria are the “right stuff”! The better the match between our respective criteria, the more likely we… Read More


Technological Changes Influencing Today’s Supply Chains

“Five technology trends are shaping a future where mobility, integration, complexity, and competition will be the defining characteristics of successful supply chain strategy”. So begins the thought-provoking lead article from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s (CSCMP) Supply Chain Quarterly. This article remains as valid today as when it was published. The Council’s research, supported by Penn State’s Small College of Business’s Center for Supply Chain Research, “identified 5 game-changing technologies and related emerging… Read More


Try This When You Need a New Supplier!

Engineers and supply chain/procurement managers need to acquire new suppliers for any of several reasons.  There is a good deal of information on selection criteria, but little on where to look.  We have thoughts on this and would welcome yours. There are several ways to find new supplier candidates, and most of these involve spending substantial time and effort qualifying these candidates—so you can then use all the various selection criteria that’s readily available.  Proficient… Read More


New Suppliers — Free Engineering and More!

Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 9/16 edition has a special report:  “Set Your Sights on Strategic Sourcing”.  This report contains a number of useful thoughts that could have very positive benefits to the purchasing organization.  A link to this report is at the end of this article.  While this report deals mainly with large entities, seeking strategic suppliers is worthy of the consideration of all. Proficient Sourcing finds new supplier candidates for procurement professionals.  In… Read More


Rare Earths – Continued

If your supply chain includes items involving rare earths, a recent executive order signed by president Trump would be worthy of your attention. According to a Washington Post article from December 20, 2017, “President Trump signed an executive order….instructing his deputies to devise a strategy to reduce the nation’s reliance on critical minerals that are largely imported and used to produce everything from smartphones to weaponry”.  If this means the government is going to take… 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


New Suppliers – Free Engineering and More!

Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 9/16 edition has a special report:  “Set Your Sights on Strategic Sourcing”.  This report contains a number of useful thoughts that could have very positive benefits to the purchasing organization.  A link to this report is at the end of this article.  While this report deals mainly with large entities, seeking strategic suppliers is worthy of the consideration of all. Proficient Sourcing finds new supplier candidates for procurement professionals.  In… 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


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