Supplier Surveys with Scoring – The Easy Way

Most companies would like to do supplier surveys and score them but response rates tend to be low.

Finding out how motivated your suppliers are to do business with you is very useful for the bottom line.

If you can make it easier to do business with your company, your suppliers will be motivated to provide the best combination of price and service. Make it a challenge and suppliers will look for greener pastures.

I am seeing a trend that will allow your company to obtain supplier feedback and it is elegant and efficient.

Two clients asked for advice on how they could improve supplier responses to surveys.

I suggested that there are some basic guidelines to increase responses:

  • Keep it short – 10 questions or less
  • Only ask the most important questions
  • Make the choices convenient
  • For multiple choice answers – keep the scale simple – 1 to 5
  • Be willing to ask about issues that have been a challenge to solve if you are ready to tackle them
  • Offer to provide a summary of the survey to all participants

I have reviewed surveys with 30 to 100 questions and these don’t work unless the supplier is compelled to participate. If this is a security survey that is critical to your operation, then a long and very detailed survey makes sense.

The elegant part of the solution is to make it part of the RFP process. Add the questions to a separate section of your RFI and make each question required.

Here are some examples of questions to consider in your survey:

  • How would you rate your overall experience in working with us?
  • How would you rate our responsiveness to issues during events?
  • Do you believe that you have a legitimate opportunity to win the business in each event?
  • What could we do in the process to enhance your ability to provide timely bids?
  • Are there other products or services that you offer that we may not be aware of?
  • If we could improve one part of our RFP process, what would that be?
  • Do you see your company continuing as a supplier for us for the next 5 years?
  • Would you like the opportunity to discuss ways where we can increase collaboration?

The list of potential questions is endless.

You may be interested in a prior post where I discussed the subject of doing business with your organization from the supplier’s viewpoint.

Each supplier relationship should evolve to the benefit of each party.

If you would like help in setting up a survey and the scoring, reach out to me.

Action Step:  Every organization wants to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their procurement group. Supplier surveys will help you. 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.

If you want to explore a purchasing or procurement topic in greater detail, I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that my recommendations will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

Organizations of all sizes are reducing costs and increasing efficiency, without changing the way they conduct business. If you would like to know how, 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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Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries