Successfully managing suppliers and service providers


Organisations are increasingly dependent on third parties to provide goods and services which are critical to their performance. This programme addresses all the major issues to help your organisation ensure that the required goods and services are delivered on time, within budget and to required quality standards.

Training objectives

This programme will:
  • Create a strong awareness of good practice when engaging with and managing suppliers
  • Explore and explain a number of simple but effective ways of ensuring effective supplier performance
  • Provide a series of practical, simple and time effective tools which can be used to manage supplier performance


This course is designed to be relevant to all levels of staff, and can be adjusted to suit the specific participants.


An inter-active, two-day course with a strong emphasis on practical exercises. If required, a one-day version of this programme can be provided instead, although the learning would be significantly diminished without the exercises.

Special features

One of the benefits of a tailor-made programme is that we can build the programme, case studies and exercises around real situations facing your organisation. This degree of customisation helps participants to see much more easily how the key points from the programme can be applied to their situation.

The course outline below is an example of the type of programme we can construct and deliver. The content, duration, objectives and material used can all be tailored to suit your specific needs.

The expert trainer

Eric is a highly experienced and very popular management consultant, trainer and business coach specialising in procurement. He has held director-level positions in Dunlop, the NHS and Diageo and his consultancy practice has taken him to clients in Europe, North America, the Far East and Africa. Over the last twenty years he has developed and managed a range of training courses for some of the best known companies in the world, including IBM, Norwich Union, Mercedes Benz, Nokia, Shell, Tesco and BUPA. His practical experience encompasses the entire procurement field, including commercial awareness, negotiating, contract and supplier management, business strategy, e-commerce and outsourcing.

Course outline

  1. Defining the characteristics of an effective collaborative working relationship with suppliers
    • How a strategic supplier relationship differs from a more typical and traditional supplier relationship
    • How to determine when a relationship with a strategic supplier is working as a true ‘partnership’
  2. Processes for developing supplier performance
    • Agreeing a performance improvement agenda
    • Planning a meeting with a strategic supplier
    • Managing that meeting
    • Agreeing performance improvements as an outcome of that meeting
  3. Tiger teams
    • Working with suppliers to improve their performance
    • Examples of success
    • Key steps to ensuring improvements are sustainable
  4. Disaster recovery principles
    • Problems are dealt with speedily and effectively
    • Implications in terms of the relationship are unaffected
    • Future problems are pre-empted
  5. Value creation forum
    • The likely benefits from working collaboratively with suppliers
    • Examples of success
    • Lessons learnt from other organisations
    • First steps
  6. Creating World Class Suppliers – the true potential
    • Harnessing supplier resources
    • Gaining competitive advantage from suppliers
    • Creating and sustaining partnerships that deliver tangible benefits
    • Using suppliers to identify internal improvement opportunities
    • Using the concept of ‘preferred customer’
    • Auditing supplier performance
    • Trends amongst leading companies
  7. The Supplier Development Toolkit
    • Methodologies for finding the best, as opposed to the cheapest, suppliers
    • Adopting performance management tools and routines
    • Supplier councils and forum
    • Supplier performance measurement approaches
    • Arachnid charts and benchmarks
    • Understanding the concept of BATNA
    • Corporate supplier awards and schemes such as Baldridge and EFQM

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