How does Supplier Development Work? Benefits of the Process

Posted by Fazal Sayyed

What is Supplier Development Process and its advantages. (1)


Any supply chain needs suppliers, and in today's world of complicated and integrated supply chain systems, the interaction between the two is more important than ever. Since procurement teams are starting to view supplier relationships as a crucial component of successful company operations, the days of trying to extract every last penny of savings from the supplier are long gone.

What is Supplier Development?

For the mutual advantage of the customer and the supplier, supplier development entails working cooperatively with important, strategic, and high-potential suppliers to enhance their skills and competitiveness in the areas of cost, quality, time, and technology.


Step # 1: Complete a Needs Analysis

You must first evaluate your present relationship with each partner in your supply base in order to acquire the outcomes you desire from them. You may pinpoint a development's starting point precisely in this method.

Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as the following is required.

  • Response Time to Inquiries
  • Defect Rate
  • On-Time Delivery Rate
  • Pricing Achieves Goals

The KPIs you specify enable you to assess how distant a provider is from meeting whatever demands you decide to concentrate on.

From this point, you may start working on creating a roadmap for expanding the provider.

Step # 2: Evaluate a Vendor Using Your KPIs

After rating your supplier based on the KPIs you've selected, think about how urgently and critically each area needs to be improved.

Step #3: Create a Plan for Dealing with Issues

You should think about how to assist the manufacturer in addressing the shortcomings now that the main concerns have been identified. This might entail bringing in an outsider, carrying out training, or developing new procedures to deal with the problems.

In general, you will need to spend time at the factory even if your company is tiny in order to have an inside perspective of every stage of the production process. In order to improve the connection and gain an inside perspective of everything from pre-production through delivery, this entails making one or more multi-day trips to the facility.

Face-to-face meetings with your supplier provide you the chance to identify the true reasons of the problems you are experiencing and to collaborate on finding solutions.

Then you may create a strategy to deal with the important concerns that everyone agrees upon.

Step #4: Carry out the Supplier Development Plan

It's time to put your strategy into action when you've identified the actual problems affecting supplier performance and made your final determinations. As you go, keep an eye on your KPIs to see whether the supplier's measurements are becoming better or worse.

Have they been more reliable with their deliveries? Based on the adjustments you've described, are they able to reduce costs through improving production efficiency?

Over time, keep an eye on the issue and think about what you might do to make it even better.


1. Improvement of both quality and cycle time

The traditional justifications and advantages of supplier development are to assist a supplier in raising the calibre of its goods and services, cutting down on cycle times, and enhancing customer responsiveness.

Other significant performance risk variables are quality and cycle time.

2. Encourage innovation

Although it is well known that small, diversified enterprises lead the way in innovation, they frequently require all of their resources to maintain their current, sustainable level of operation after developing the original game-changing product. A supplier development program can give a supplier the extra help they need to explore new goods and solutions, such as education, mentorship, access to networks, financing, or all of the above.

3. Build more sustainable supplier relationships

The development of suppliers demands cooperation and confidence. These factors enable businesses to build lasting connections with their suppliers, enabling them to access the financial and commercial resources necessary for long-term success and growth. This may eventually foster a relationship that is healthier and more advantageous to both sides.

4. Gain a competitive edge

With the right training and direction, businesses may collaborate with suppliers and hire independent contractors that are knowledgeable about all aspects of their operations, from quality to price. This gives the vendors greater freedom to offer you higher-quality services at reasonable prices.

5. Solve performance and quality issues

Direct connections between businesses and their numerous suppliers create a wealth of new possibilities. For instance, a provider might describe the many ways that a customer can offer help, such as increased communication or access to certain documents. In exchange, the client may also point out how the supplier's service might be improved.


Professionals in purchasing and supply management should decide when establishing a supplier may be completed when goals have been met and are being measured. The development's outcomes frequently range from a simple "quick repair" to a step shift and continuous progress at the opposite extreme.

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