Category Archives: Small business

5 ways small companies can manage supplier performance

Smaller companies often do not believe that they can do much about evaluating and managing supplier performance. The oft-repeated phrase is, “We can’t because we’re small.” However, I’ve found the reverse is true in many cases: We can because we’re …

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Small Businesses Can Still Reduce Supply Risk

A few weeks ago I was attending a meeting of my local ISM chapter. I was speaking with the purchasing manager for a local college about supply risk and mentioned the risk track and the session at the ISM Conference

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NUMMI Suppliers Lose Their Customer: Can Lean Help Them Survive the Loss?

Looks like it’s really all over for NUMMI, the Toyota/GM joint auto manufacturing venture in Fremont, CA. Last summer, I wrote a post about the strong possibility of Toyota’s closing the plant (NUMMI: Things Are Looking Gloomy). The …

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Italian Auto Suppliers: Out of Cash, Except in Their Swiss Bank Accounts

While American auto suppliers have not been directly bailed out, many have survived due to the bailout of their customers, GM and Chrysler.  No so for small Italian suppliers.  According to a WSJ article, the Italian auto industry has …

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Seven Reasons Why Suppliers Are Firing Their Customers

Firing the customer is something taught in business schools and often mentioned as an approach for small companies to get rid of problem customers. The subject came up again recently in a WSJ article that reported on small businesses, who, …

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Customer Payment Squeeze Chokes Suppliers

I read today’s WSJ article about how customers are using their suppliers to improve their own cash flow: Big Firms Are Quick to Collect, Slow to Pay  and thought, same old, same old. I addressed this phenomenon in an early …

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Finding Offshore Suppliers: A Web-Based Community for Supplier Evaluations

Supply managers and buyers have always had the challenge not just of finding suppliers but finding suppliers who are both high-performing and “best value”. Numerous supplier evaluation and supplier performance management software solutions are now available, where ten years ago …

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It's the Customer, Stupid

I recently wrote a post for the Spend Matters blog, “12 Reasons Why Supplier Scorecards Fail” (updated, with one additional reason than my original post  on this site in December 2008). There were some insightful comments, including one …

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Supplier Selection: Tips for Small Businesses

I was recently interviewed by business columnist Jamie Herzlich over at Newsday for an article she recently wrote, “Small Business: Choosing the Right Supplier.” (May 14, 2009)  Many businesses are struggling with the challenge of how to choose …

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