Supply chain managers are responsible for improving the efficiency and capacity of their vendors. While developing supplier development programs is an important part of this process, it is difficult to measure program effectiveness without supplier development evaluation tools that show progress for each vendor and the program overall.

But how do you measure a supplier’s strengths, weaknesses, and biggest opportunities for growth? And more importantly, how do you measure their progress over time? Are they improving? How do you know? What criteria are you using?

Based on decades of experience, Bellewether Ltd. has developed assessment tools for supply chain managers to evaluate the current state of operations and the progress of their suppliers. These assessment tools are separate from any supplier development programming and can be used to evaluate any group of suppliers.

Why supplier assessment is important

The data your organization can obtain through a vendor assessment process provides an unprecedented amount of information about your suppliers’ business operations, and how they can increase their value to your supply chain. The analysis can help you prioritize your resources (time, energy, and dollars) by identifying the areas of greatest need and greatest potential for improvement for each vendor.

Establishing a baseline understanding of your vendors’ performance will enable you to derive a proven pathway for measurable progress. Supply chain managers need to justify the cost of their supplier development program through good ROI–and the only way to determine how, specifically, your program has helped suppliers develop is to create a snapshot of where they started from. Without proper supplier assessment, many organizations risk spinning their wheels and spending far too much time and energy on programs that don’t improve business outcomes.

Supplier development evaluation tools

At Bellewether, we’ve leveraged our extensive experience with supply chain management and development to create the FLITER® Business and Leadership Rating Scale (BLRS). The FLITER® BLRS is a diagnostic tool that can help you design and implement effective assessment and improvement programs.

The FLITER® BLRS assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each supplier across 12 different business areas:

  • Income Generation
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • Management
  • Customer Service
  • Technology
  • Production
  • Personnel
  • Business Operations
  • Distribution
  • Inventory

Suppliers are assigned a performance level for each dimension–for example, a start-up vendor may be pre-Level 1 in Marketing, if they have no marketing budget or personnel, but Level 3 on Customer Service.

Along with assigning levels, the FLITER® BLRS comes with outcome reports that outline step-by-step recommendations for how each vendor can “level up” in each key business dimension. These can form the foundation for your supply chain development program, and provide a data-driven methodology to track and report on vendor progress.

How your organization can leverage the FLITER® BLRS to assess your vendor performance

Hundreds have used this tool to help evaluate and improve their performance. If you would like to start measuring the effectiveness of your supplier development programs, we’d love to talk with you. Contact us today!

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