Supply Base Custom™ Survey

PPI’s Supply Base Custom™ Survey originated in the early 1990s, when Planning Perspectives began conducting surveys for various automotive manufacturers to help them understand how to improve their supplier working relations.

The Supply Base Custom™ Survey is a diagnostic process that solicits feedback from a client’s suppliers through a confidential online survey and translates the results into a realistic view of suppliers’ perceptions of their working relations with the client through the Working Relations Index®. Based on these results, PPI then prepares actionable and practical recommendations that help the client unlock the competitive potential of its supply base.

PPI’s Supply Base Custom™ Survey consists of two over-arching Sections or parts. The first part includes topics and associated questions that are customized to address the unique needs of the client. For example, topics may include quality, personnel, etc.. This part of the questionnaire generally varies not only by client, but may also vary by the supply base (e.g., Direct, Indirect) for one client.

The second over-arching Section is the Benchmark Section. The set of topics and questions included in this part of PPI’s Supply Base Custom™ questionnaire is a set of standard questions that are included in all Supply Base Custom™ Surveys and the Supply Base Standard™ Surveys. The Benchmark Section questions include a subset of questions that PPI uses to develop the Working Relations Index®.

In identifying the suppliers to be included in the Survey, PPI relies exclusively on the use of large-scale internet-based surveys (i.e., not populations based on sampling), for the majority of its data-gathering effort to achieve the objectives of the client engagement.
To get the most reliable supplier feedback, PPI can conduct these surveys globally using questionnaires prepared in native languages through our network of translators. In addition to English, we have conducted surveys in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Supply Base Custom™ Survey Process has six major events.

1. Definition of Survey Scope and Selection of Supply Base
PPI and the client determine the high-level scope of the survey, including survey type (i.e., supply base or bases to be surveyed, e.g., Direct, Indirect, etc.), specific suppliers to be targeted within selected supply base or bases (i.e., contact data base(s)), and high-level survey timing.
2. Development of Survey Questionnaire and Client Reporting Dimensions
PPI interviews client personnel to determine customized Purchasing Areas (groupings of products/services unique to a client), types of questions to be included in the non-Benchmark Section of the questionnaire and the names of competitor companies to be used in the Benchmark Section of the questionnaire. Competitor names are used to obtain basic working relations information about a client’s competitors that are in the client’s contact data base.
PPI and the client also determine company dimensions, i.e., different classifications by which the client can categorize it’s supply base, for example, by a client’s geographic location, by suppliers’ importance to the client, by survey language, by product or service category, etc., which is used to customize the analysis and reporting for the client.
3. Implementation of Survey
PPI manages the entire survey process after all the necessary survey constructs and decisions are complete. Once the survey process has begun, suppliers generally have about four to five weeks to respond. Throughout the process, PPI remains the only point of contact for suppliers being surveyed for all survey issues.
4. Analyzing Survey Responses
PPI uses sophisticated, academic-quality tools and methodologies to analyze survey responses. The analysis follows a standard process and includes the calculation of the Working Relations Index®. The analysis and calculation of the WRI® are flexible enough to support analyses across the supply bases and other company-provided dimensions consistent with those defined in Events 1 and 2.
5. Preparation of Reports and Recommended Next Steps
PPI prepares Reports for the client that includes PPI standard analysis and the customized analysis consistent with client requirements in Events 1 and 2. The Reports include suggested high-level next steps for the client.
6. Presentation of Survey Results to Client
Professor John Henke presents the Survey results to the client, including the Working Relations Index® and recommended Next Steps. This presentation is in person.