Using Scorecards and Communication Tools in Sourcing to Save Time

I like simple solutions. Sourcing tools that allow you to scorecard events and suppliers are effective ways to take some of the guesswork out of strategic sourcing. The same can be said for tools that allow all communication about an event or supplier accessible to everyone. This one aspect creates measurable efficiency gains.

Many organizations use scorecards to evaluate individual sourcing events.

This is smart and essential in more complex events that involve multiple suppliers, stakeholders and internal customers for example. It is also smart to scorecard recurring purchases to insure that suppliers or service providers are continuing to meet your standards on each event.

  • I like scorecard tools that allow differing levels of participation and input. I believe that it is important to include all parties that can impact the process. I also believe that the value of each participant should be relevant to the organizations overall goals and structure.
  • If you aren’t including all stakeholders in your scorecards you can be missing vital input from the front line. The same can be said for plant or office personnel that experience purchased services. Remote or virtual locations may experience far different service levels and response time than primary ones so they should be able to provide input to the scorecard.
  • Creating scorecards for suppliers in general can be a bit more challenging. However, there are certain fundamental aspects of the materials or services supplied that can be evaluated more easily.
  • On-time delivery, out-of-stock instances, delivery costs and quality rejects are factual in almost all situations. Warranties or guarantees and how they are administered is likely to have shades of grey. Repair turnaround time, service after the sale and maintenance and repair will be more subjective.

The takeaway from my perspective is that having a scorecard is more valuable than not having one. The ability of procurement to refine the process as business needs change is essential.

Communication has evolved and many of the “advances” have solved one problem and created others.

Email is a tool that can support the sourcing effort or make it unwieldy because of the ease that it can be sent.

Sourcing tools that provide a central repository for all communication related to an event or organization or project help eliminate a variety of problems. For example:

  • Emails are far less likely to be “lost” and this aspect may be eliminated based on the next point.
  • Tracking receipt and opens insures all parties are on the same page.
  • The ability to search all emails related to a specific topic establishes the trail of comments.
  • It levels the playing field if all suppliers know they are getting the same information, feedback and direction. This minimizes the belief that a supplier got in the back door.
  • In my experience there is less likely to be frivolous or gratuitous comments if everyone knows that all parties have access to the same information.
  • Questions and responses will be more direct and professional rather than the more casual approach seen so often in personal email.
  • Reducing the communication and feedback to the essentials can save 25% of the time required to complete an event.

The takeaway here is that email for all of the good things it provides can also be a huge time waster.
Action Step: If you would like to gain greater control over communication or learn how scorecards can provide strategic analysis call or email me with questions.

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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Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life
Mike Jeffries