Project Management

4 Essential Considerations for Supplier Selection

Shaoping Cao is a purchasing manager with experience in strategic plan and sourcing.

Suppliers play an important role in projects, so the supplier selection process is crucial. We can avoid some risks—like unqualified suppliers, poor coordination or your current supplier experiencing a bottleneck and being unable to meet your development needs—if we take the following considerations into account during the supplier selection process.

1. Comprehensive needs: Some project managers confirm suppliers without having a clear understanding of internal needs, which may lead to adverse consequences. It’s necessary to define specific internal needs before sourcing suppliers. These needs must take into account user requirements; your current situation; future development; market situations and trends (to help you grasp market prices, market players and competitors); and also connect to your company’s objectives, goals, strategies and measures (OGSM, which will help you find the right long-term suppliers).

Having a clear understanding of needs will enable effective identification of appropriate suppliers (long or short term) and cost composition. Remember that your key stakeholders are not just the final users, but also external entities and top management. If these needs are taken into account, you will have a big-picture view of recent and future supplier selection procedures, costs, etc.

2. Classification and matching of needs and …


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"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious and immature."

- Tom Robbins