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Documenting Supplier Performance

Posted 6/23/2020

Documentation of supplier performance is a task that can add considerable value and elevate the procurement function in your organization. Follow up on those strategic purchases of goods and services with your client departments. Develop a checklist to address 

how well the supplier performed. Review the list with your internal client. Share the information gained, both good and bad, with the supplier. Get and document the supplier’s responses. File the record where it can be found years later, possibly by another person.

Done well, this will enhance your reputation with both internal clients and key suppliers. There are several benefits to your organization.

  • ·        Market development: by sharing performance assessments you educate suppliers about organizational needs and desires. Better quality bids and services can result.
  • ·        If you choose to use reprisal clauses in your contracts and supply requests, clear documentation will be necessary to invoke those clauses. No supplier should be surprised when you do invoke a reprisal clause, they should know their status before they bid.
  • ·        Documented past performance could be referenced when evaluating pre-qualifications as well as assignment of future work on standing orders.
  • ·        You may be asked to give a supplier reference. Performance documentation will back up that reference.
  • ·        Things change, you and others may move on taking much informal knowledge with you unless that information is documented for the next person to reference.

Business continuity is important. The stored information on supplier performance can be a key organizational asset. Procurement is the logical storekeeper and user of this information. Include all relevant information including copies of electronic and other communication. File it in a logical manner where the next person can find and use that information. Suppliers should know that you are maintaining performance records and will use them.

In summary, apply effort to creating positive vendor relationships, which if that becomes impossible the reasons are based on fact, documented, and clearly understood by all concerned.