Scorecards can provide valuable insights on supplier performance. In most organizations this tool can be improved. Automating some or all of the task will increase the willingness of participants.
I don’t know about you but evaluating the performance of a supplier or an employee doesn’t rank high on my list of fun things to do.
Evaluations are essential in every part of an organization but I am quite certain that the number of people that enjoy preparing them and/or giving them is very small.
I know one senior executive who dreads the annual 360 evaluation process in her organization.
At a base level we need to know the suppliers that are performing at or above expectation and those that are falling short of expectations.
It is my belief that finding ways to automate the process without making it robotic is an important goal.
I like to see a start with a blend of straightforward yes/no or multiple choice questions.
The system you use should summarize and rank the answers. The system should also have the ability to identify bias and outlier responses. The results should not be unduly impacted by these responses.
The ability to weight questions and participants is another important feature. Not everyone will have the same knowledge or contact with the supplier and this should be weighted or given strong consideration.
Next, I want to have the right number of qualitative questions so participants have the opportunity to provide specific insights.
If there are too many qualitative questions the answers will tend to be less reliable at the end of the scorecard because the participants simply want to finish and will rush to do that.
I recently reviewed a scorecard that had far too many qualitative questions. The same issues were covered multiple times. It almost felt like you were on the witness stand and the attorney was seeing if they could find some inconsistency in your answers.
The system should provide a summary of the qualitative responses to each question side-by-side for ease of review. If the system can’t do this, it becomes a bit of a nightmare to summarize the responses in a timely manner.
I have helped create many qualitative questions in my career. I like questions that make people think hard about the situation and eliminate the cookie-cutter answers.
Let me share a handful of starter phrases and base questions that should help you create dynamic qualitative questions:
- What is the most important thing to you when…?
- What are the biggest problems or frustrations you group experiences in…?
- How do you measure the effectiveness of…?
- When you think of (supplier A) what specifically comes to mind?
- What has caused you to consider changing suppliers in the past?
- Describe a situation where the supplier has exceeded expectations.
- Describe a situation where the supplier fell short of expectations.
One last point – if you are using offline tools to complete scorecard tasks you can save a tremendous amount of time by changing to an online solution that will do the heavy lifting for you. This may not be the right solution if you have infrequent needs in this area.
Action Step: Scorecards can provide valuable insights. Creating them is a combination of art and science. If you are uncertain where to start, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want. If you would like to explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me.
EC Sourcing Group is one of the companies I represent because their tools have been created by dedicated and experienced sourcing professionals. They know the day-to-day challenges your team faces and have built their tools to solve them. If you want to know how, I invite you to request a demo or 30-minute discovery conversation so you can experience the platform, process, people, and tools. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.
Next week I will continue on this same theme so your organization can improve your bottom line.
If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
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