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Seb Anthony

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Preferred Supplier Lists


I am in the process of putting together a preferred supplier list. Has anyone done this recently and could give me some insights and steps to follow? I know the process but learning from how others have done it successfully would be really useful.

Janet Cowell

3 Responses

  1. ask yourself “Why?”

    Why do you want to set up a PSL?

    It is worth asking the question because I’ve heard answers that range from
    “because only I have the competence to judge quality”
    “to save managers from re-inventing the wheel”
    “to reduce the number of invoices we have to pay each month”
    “to ensure that our supply chain complies with our ethical approach”
    “because everyone else does it, don’t they?”

    As I’m sure you would agree, some of the above are less valid justifications than others, but they will each put a different slant on the do’s and don’ts

    Hope this helps


  2. understanding why..
    Hi Janet, this depends on why you want a preferred supplier list?
    * to minimise the number of suppliers
    * to manager quality
    * to increase consistency
    * to reduce costs on supplier checks
    * to reduce admin

    With each reason, as Rus says will provide a different pro and con.

    Unlike a commodity market, buying trainers and training is difficult. It is about cultural fit, and a training provider for one part of the organisation may not fit another (in v large co’s). Equally the provider you use for your soft skills, may not be the one you want you want to run your leadership training..

  3. Preferred Supplier Lists
    Hi Janet
    I am a supplier and have had numerous conversations with clients about PSL. Essentially we recommend that selection criteria are clearly defined – exactly the same as recruiting or awarding a contract. Criteria can then be ranked in order of importance, a scoring system applied etc. Then there’s the question of how long a list you want? Then how many suppliers you invite to apply? How will you know when you have a list you are happy with?
    Let me know if I can help at all.


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