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 very few options existed. Most options that I’m aware of are either SaaS (software as a service) or licensed software solutions that are typically targeted at medium to large-size companies. The choices for software solutions for evaluating suppliers have certainly increased since the days when I was in the supplier evaluation software business. In fact, the whole supplier information and supplier performance management solutions market has heated up as companies are becoming more concerned about the impact of supply risk and supplier performance issues. For a further description of this market, you can read an analysis that appeared on the Spend Matters blog.
However, some challenges still remain: finding good offshore suppliers and providing small to medium-size businesses with affordable, yet effective supplier evaluation options. While there are options for finding offshore suppliers or suppliers from developing countries, there are none that I’m aware of that give buyers a good, cost-effective way to know how good these sources really are.
I thought I would alert readers to a new site for finding and evaluating suppliers – SupplierEvaluations.com. It is based upon a social networking, B2B approach where a community of buyers and supply managers, using an evaluation template and process provided by the site, evaluates suppliers and shares the evaluations with other members of the community. Supplierevaluations.com expects to be operational by mid-September. Users can sign up now to participate when the site goes live.