I was recently interviewed by Nick Zubko, Purchasing Editor at IndustryWeek magazine, for an article on supplier scorecards. The resulting article, “Who’s Keeping Score?”, summarizes the actions needed to ensure supplier scorecards that are meaningful and actionable and is available online and in the February 2009 issue. To summarize the key points, the article explains that companies need to:
1. Develop an evaluation strategy – what information about suppliers do you need and how you are going to get it
2. Get input from multiple functions in the company
3. Keep scorecards simple
4. Communicate with suppliers about scorecards
5. Start small and expand the process, in terms of numbers of metrics and suppliers measured
6. Close the loop and follow up with suppliers
The article also pointed out the collaborative nature of scorecards, both among different functions in one’s company and with suppliers. When well done, supplier scorecards can be part of an overall supply management and continuous improvement program, rather than an interesting assortment of statistics collecting real or cyberspace dust.