Three reasons why review meetings get the best from your print suppliers

Can you imagine having an operation without any follow-up?

Can you imagine having a job without an annual review?

Will you appoint a supplier and not review the performance?

I am always surprised at the amount of buyers who do not run supplier reviews

Supplier reviews can be about much more than measurement

Supplier reviews should be about much more than measurement

Buyers who run supplier review meetings will create better partnerships in their supply chain. They will also have better control over supplier performance. They are more likely to achieve what they need to when they run projects.

Buyers who do not use supplier reviews may find it harder to achieve the right results from their supply chain. They won’t have the same level of control over supplier performance. They are more likely to be treating their suppliers as commodity manufacturers. That means they will get a service to match.

Supplier reviews are a great way to avoid these problems. Here are three other reasons why you should use them.

Supplier reviews improve performance

Supplier reviews are a great way to measure performance of both supplier and client. A well-run review will often result in improved performance for both parties.

Because performance is being looked at in a dedicated meeting it is possible to observe trends. Often it is possible to see issues and deal with them before they become major problems. That means that you and your team will often spend a lot less time fire fighting as well.

However, supplier reviews should be about more than just performance.

Supplier reviews improve relationships

It can be hard to get the best out of your supplier if you only communicate with them on an operational level. It can be surprising just how beneficial a strategic conversation can be if there are no immediate pressing issues.

Supplier reviews are a good opportunity for each company to understand more about the other. It is important to understand what your suppliers would like in an ideal world. It is important to understand how they are evolving and if they are investing.

Sometimes these conversations show that their relationship is coming towards the end of its life. You have time to find a new supplier. But much more often, these conversations highlight real opportunities. So here’s a third reason to run supply reviews.

Supplier reviews are an opportunity to discuss cost saving projects

I always put cost saving projects on the agenda for supplier reviews. A supplier review is a great way to sit back and look at how things are done. Often, with a bit of brainstorming, new solutions and processes become apparent.

If these ideas are acted upon, there can be substantial cost savings for both parties.

Let’s look at how a supplier review worked in real life

I once appointed a new magazine printer at a company where I worked. They were not used to supply reviews. In fact, they were a bit suspicious of them. They saw them as an opportunity for me to beat a supplier up.

They had good reason to be nervous because their account management was definitely below the level that was required. They expected to be given a hard time about this. However, we were able to have a conversation in a considered atmosphere. We were not trying to deal with immediate issues.

This meant that we had a positive dialogue. We created a path forward with action points. Account management swiftly improved.

However, some people just don’t see these advantages.

Aren’t supplier reviews just a talking shop and a waste of time?

If supplier reviews are seen in this way it means that there are opportunities to improve the way they are run. A supplier review needs a structured agenda and proper performance feedback. Then it will nearly always get good results.

Here are three action points to get you on the road to a successful supplier review

  1. Highlight three key suppliers who would benefit from a review
  2. Set a time and date for a reviewed with each supplier
  3. Create an agenda for the reviews

You’ll soon find that supplier reviews are a natural part of your buying process

They will be just as natural as your annual job review. Or as a follow-up to an operation.

In my next article, I will cover some of the questions you should ask the supplier review in more detail.
===================================================================
P.S.  Sign up right now to receive “Ten Common Print Buying Errors and What To Do About Them” and to make sure you receive similar articles to this.

Subscribe to the newsletter now

* indicates required





Email Format


One Response to Three reasons why review meetings get the best from your print suppliers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Free Buying Advice
Download the E book

Download "Ten Common Print Buying Errors and What To Do About Them" (worth £25/$41) absolutely free, and receive regular practical articles on print buying.

Client Testimonial

I have worked with Matthew for just over a year now and he has delivered a number of highly successful training events for the IPIA during that time. He is very organised and produces seminars which are full of

Read the testimonial from Andrew Pearce
Client Testimonial

Matthew provided an excellent “Print Processes” training session for myself and some of my colleagues.  The feature that I liked most about the training, was that the day itself was very interactive – which not only

Read the testimonial from Rhoda Day
Client Testimonial

If you think you are on top of your print buying you might be in for a surprise! We asked Print & Procurement to undertake a print audit. Matthew said ‘’If we do not find savings sufficient to earn back our fee

Read the testimonial from Rod Fletcher
Client Testimonial

Matthew is a consultant who is totally committed to his clients and to delivering on his promises.  He has an excellent understanding of both the challenges of the print channel and the opportunities it presents. As a

Read the full testimonial from Jacky Morgan
Client Testimonial

Apart from being a thoroughly decent chap Matthew is scrupulously professional, ruthlessly efficient and always delivers excellent results.
I genuinely have no hesitation whatever in recommending Matthew. He

Read the full testimonial from Simon Lewis
Client Testimonial

In an industry renowned for its pressure, Matthew Parker delivers a very gentle but insightful intelligence about the ways of print. Somewhere between art and science there is a place that defines the balance of what

Read the full testimonial from Andy Dowen
Recent Posts

Four ways automated print pricing can make a buyer’s life easier (and how to choose the right system)

Do you struggle to find enough hours in the day? Whether you’re a full-time purchaser or managing a more general administration role, the pressure on your [more]

Why beating printing companies down on price is not the best way to reduce costs

For me, few things are better than standing on the summit of a mountain The route up a mountain is hard.  There’s a lot of work [more]

Three reasons why print buyers should challenge supplier choice

My daughter was about to burst into tears I had asked her what flavor of ice cream she would like. She gave me the same answer [more]

Why print buyers who stick to cost-cutting are failing to do their job

Wouldn't a garden look bare without anything in the flowerbeds? My wife is a keen gardener. One of her most regular jobs is the weeding. It's [more]

Three specification questions that can reduce the cost of printed items by over 30%

The print industry is dying There are huge amounts of overcapacity. Printing companies are tendering suicidal prices. So all a print buyer has to do is to [more]

Three questions print buyers must use to challenge process and prevent 30-address syndrome

Can you imagine writing the same address over 30 times? Wouldn’t it be a complete waste of your time? Aren't there are so many better things [more]