Before or After
When Intesource completes sourcing events for our customers, we try to encourage them not to stray too far from the normal process they use today. We still want them to participate in collecting the information internally to ensure we are going out to market with the most up-to-date information available. That way, we do not have a “garbage-in, garbage-out” result.
When sourcing items from either new sources of supply or going out to market on a new product offering, it is very important to require the supplier community to provide samples. Every organization needs to continue to complete their due diligence no matter the approach to sourcing, and sampling a suppliers product offerings is absolutely key to a positive outcome.
Deciding when to review samples can be a bit of a balancing act. Most of our customers want to know when the bidding starts, that everyone participating can supply them the exact items being requested. This is completely understandable. However, this can also be a tall order when there are scores of suppliers for the category being bid. The last thing you want to do is impact your stakeholders’ already very busy day by having them sift through mountains of samples. We are trying to make the sourcing process easier through process and technology, not more cumbersome. So, making cuts of suppliers who do not pass the basic requirements collected through a request for information (RFI) questionnaire is a good way to start thinning the herd.