Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Supplier Evaluation — Everything A Procurement Professional Should

Key take-aways

  • Supplier evaluation is an instrument used to measure the effectiveness and suitability of suppliers to your company.
  • A regular supplier evaluation has many benefits, including your supplier’s improvement in performance. 
  • Supplier evaluation also helps companies choose and select the best partners. 

A supplier’s evaluation is crucial in procurement. This helps the organization filter the potential suppliers to get the best partner for its business. However, how do organizations evaluate these potential suppliers?

In this article, we will discuss what supplier evaluation is. We will also check how organizations assess their potential suppliers and their importance in procurement. 

Once you are done reading this article, you will know how crucial supplier evaluation is for every business. Additionally, it decreases the risks you can bring to your organization by sourcing ineffective suppliers. 

I have created a free-to-download editable supplier relationship management scorecard template. It’s a PowerPoint file that can help you evaluate your supplier’s performance effectively. I even created a video where I’ll explain how you can use this template.

    What is Supplier Evaluation?

    We know that you already have a hint of what supplier evaluation is due to its name. Supplier evaluation is a process in which the organization monitors and assesses the performance of its suppliers. The evaluation of suppliers is done either monthly or yearly. 

    The assessment of the supplier includes a review of the supplier’s quality of product or service, price, financial stability, delivery times, and customer service. 

    The purpose of supplier evaluation is to ensure that you will partner with the best suppliers available in the market. 

    It is important to note that the supplier must have a clear understanding of the needs and requirements of the organization before conducting an evaluation. This will help the organization to know what areas its supplier falls short of.

      The Importance of Supplier Evaluation

      Supplier evaluation is significant to ensure that the suppliers of the organization are meeting the standards and requirements. It also allows the organization to identify any problems that can affect it greatly. 

      Conducting regular evaluations will lessen the risk of non-compliance and ensure that the selected suppliers of the company are doing their best. 

      Measuring and assessing the performance of the supplier is crucial to the reduction in costs, increase in production, and business performance. Overall, it is what drives the organization to continuously improve its supply chain.

        The Benefits of Conducting an Evaluation of Suppliers

        Although the main reason for evaluating your suppliers is to see their suitability with you and your goals, there are other reasons why it’s important. Here are the main benefits of supplier evaluation:

        1. Enhance the visibility of the supplier’s performance

        When organizations do not have the data to check their supplier’s performance, supplier management will tend to be based on assumptions. 

        If the organization monitors its supplier’s performance, the supplier will be obliged to do its best.

         2. Mitigate risks

        Insights into the supplier’s performance can help reduce business risk, particularly their key suppliers’ increasing dependency on organizations.

        The risk can be financial or operational and it increases depending on the location or distance of the supplier from the organization.

        3. Improve supplier performance

        The goal of supplier evaluation is to ensure that the suppliers are still performing their best for the organization. Supplier assessment can be truly effective when it leads to continuous improvement activities that will enhance the supplier’s performance. 

        4. Align customer and business practices

        It is ideal that the suppliers should align with the customers and the organization by sharing the same business ethics. Through the evaluation, the supplier will be committed to sustainability and continuous improvement. 

        Supplier Performance Evaluation Checklist

        Now that we have tackled the benefits of supplier evaluation, the following are what you should include in your supplier performance evaluation checklist or form:

        1. Establish performance indicators

        Of course, the organization needs to establish a supplier evaluation plan to know the parameters it wants to assess. Without this, the organization cannot fully evaluate its suppliers or worse, reflect insights that are counter-productive to your business. 

        The following are the parameters that organizations must include for an effective performance evaluation:

        • Price – The organization can create a win-win situation with vendors who are able and willing to lower their prices. By lowering their prices, the organization would want to deal with them often. 

        However, the organization must be observant. If there are any additional charges or surprise costs, then the organization must be wary of the vendor. 

        • Cost – This can either be monetary or non-monetary when dealing with suppliers. It includes peripheral costs that are associated with movement, packaging, delivery, and disposal 
        • Quantity – The organization can also consider the comparison between quantities ordered and received. Sometimes, the vendor will send a notice to confirm and explain anomalies in the delivery. 
        • Quality – The organization must inspect the delivered goods to check any visible product defects, rejections, and returns.
        • Service – This includes indicators such as the response time of resolving issues and client satisfaction engagement. 
        • Delivery – This indicator focuses on the timeliness of the order process and the pre-delivery waiting period. 
        • Payment terms – A fast payment method and terms are preferable to organizations than a slow payment process. 
        • Financial health – Suppliers that have good financial health can provide for the needs of an organization much better.
        • Compliance – You need to know how compliant your suppliers are in terms of their taxes, contracts, and procedures.

        2. Classify suppliers

        In order for the organization to classify its suppliers, it must classify them first into categories. One way to do this is by classifying them by their geography. 

        3. Centralize the data

        Many organizations have many suppliers across various functions. Bringing all of them into one centralized portal can allow you to manage and assess them well. 

        4. Collaborate with suppliers for feedback

        Not all evaluation or assessment needs to be quantitative. Constant collaboration with your supplier can bring out the bottlenecks more visibly. 

        5. Create an actionable plan

        After you have done the previous steps, the organization can start to create an actionable plan. This is necessary to ensure action against your findings to close the loop in the evaluation of the organization. Additionally, it helps to know the gaps in performance and devise strategies to fix them.

        Conclusion

        Supplier evaluation is a critical process in procurement that helps organizations select the best partners for their business. It involves assessing various aspects of a supplier’s performance, such as product quality, pricing, financial stability, and delivery times.

        Supplier evaluation is essential for ensuring standards are met, mitigating risks, improving supplier performance, and aligning business practices.

        To effectively evaluate suppliers, organizations should establish performance indicators, classify suppliers, centralize data, collaborate for feedback, and create actionable plans based on evaluation findings. Implementing these steps can lead to better supplier management and ultimately benefit the organization’s supply chain and business performance.

        Frequentlyasked questions

        What is Supplier Evaluation?

        It is a process in which the organization monitors and assesses the performance of its suppliers.

        Why is it needed?

        Supplier evaluation is needed to make sure that the suppliers of the organization are complying with the standards and requirements.

        What are the indicators that the organization must include in its evaluation?

        Some of the indicators that you need to consider are the price, quality, cost, quantity, service, delivery, payment terms, financial health, and compliance of the suppliers.

        About the author

        My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

        Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics