Supply Base Consulting

Supply Base Standard™ Survey

The Supply Base Standard™ Survey is a Survey process developed by PPI, which follows academic survey methodologies, that solicits feedback from a client’s suppliers through a confidential online questionnaire and translates the supplier questionnaire responses into a realistic view of suppliers’ perceptions of their working relations with the client.

The online questionnaire consists of a standardized questionnaire comprised of Foundational Activities-related questions, which include Purchasing Agent Characteristics and Business Practices questions, and supplier working relations questions, which allow the calculation of the client’s Working Relations Index®.

Supplier responses to the online questionnaire are analyzed using the latest statistical analytical tools and methods. The statistically analyzed output plus the integration of PPI’s 25 plus years of supplier relations experience is then used to prepare specific recommendations for clients to maintain or improve their supplier working relations.  We incorporate PPI’s Working Relations Index® (WRI®) in supplier feedback analyses at various client-defined categories, e.g., by regions, annual spend, purchasing areas.

In addition to the standardized questions, each client can choose to include up to five client-unique questions to enable the client to get feedback on newly-introduced client processes or initiatives or to obtain other information, which would be of use to the client.

Competitive benchmark questions, which can be used to develop the Working Relations Index® of a client’s competitors who are also suppliers of the client, are not part of the Supply Base Standard™ Survey. PPI can provide this functionality as an upgrade to the Supply Base Standard™ Survey.

The Survey process, and the associated timing is summarized in the Supply Base Standard™ Survey Process chart, which follows.

PPI relies exclusively on the use of large-scale internet-based surveys (i.e., not populations based on sampling), for all three of its Supply Base Surveys.
PPI’s experience suggests that the Supply Base Standard™ Survey is sufficient for the majority of our clients’ whose primary purpose is to determine the status of their current supplier working relations and get improvement recommendations. PPI has found that Supply Base Custom™ Survey may overwhelm some clients with too-much feedback at one time. PPI encourages potential clients to discuss the pros and cons of the two surveys by contacting PPI.

 

Supply Base Standard™ Survey Process

 

 

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Supply Base Pulse™ Survey

PPI’s Supply-Base Pulse™ Survey is a customized short survey meant to focus on a client’s specific supplier-related topic. As a point of reference, PPI’s Supply Base Standard™ Survey and PPI’s Supply Base Custom™ Survey measure suppliers’ perceptions of their working relations with PPI’s clients and are centered on the Working Relations Index®.

Supply Base Pulse™ Surveys, designed to be completed in about 15 minutes, are particularly useful for obtaining feedback for a specific client topic that may be relevant at a given point in time. While collecting and analyzing supplier working relations feedback might be occurring every one or two years, waiting that long is often too late for a client’s urgent supplier-related issue that needs to be dealt with quickly, for example, identifying a breakdown in a specific client process dealing with its bidding process.

Also, the Supply Base Pulse™ Survey may be used to measure the impact on a client’s supply base that results from the implementation of a new process or an organizational change that significantly affects the supply base. The Supply Base Pulse™ Survey is a quick and efficient tool that permits the client to learn and understand supplier perceptions of the changes and potential revisions.

In general, the process to implement a Supply Base Pulse™ Survey, follows the Supply Base Standard™ Survey Process, but with a revised timeline, most likely shortened, as necessary for each client’s particular needs.

 

In those situations where it is possible to do a Supply Base Pulse™ Survey before and after a major process or organizational change, two such Surveys could be conducted:

  • a pre-change Survey when a major change has been announced to suppliers to obtain their first impressions about such a change
  • a post-change Survey after the suppliers have experienced the change for a relevant period of time. The difference between the Survey results would measure how well the implemented change is working.

 

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Supply Base Custom™ Survey

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

As in the case of the Supply Base Standard™ Survey, the Supply Base Custom™ Survey is a survey-based diagnostic process developed by PPI 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 a client through the Working Relations Index®. In addition to the questions related to the Working Relations Index® and a client’s Foundational Activities, PPI includes other areas, e.g., quality, supplier performance measurements, or client-unique supplier procedures, in the questionnaire.

After gathering supplier feedback, PPI prepares actionable and practical recommendations both on the client’s supplier working relations, as well as the other supplier-related areas that the client wished to include into the questionnaire.

In general, the process to implement a Supply Base Custom™ Survey, follows the Supply Base Standard™ Survey Process, but the Survey timeline revised upward, to include the addition of customizing survey sections and questions.

 

The Supply Base Standard™ Survey, while less comprehensive than the Supply Base Custom™ Survey because of the addition of unique client-requested questionnaire sections, has much less up-front client involvement in questionnaire development, is implemented in a relatively short time and costs less than the Supply Base Custom Survey.

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The Supply Base Standard™ Survey, the Supply Base Pulse™ Survey and the Supply Base Custom™ Survey are confidential surveys.
PPI has a requirement that a client agrees to receive PPI’s results only at aggregated client-defined levels that ensure the confidentiality of supplier companies as well as the identify of individual supplier contacts within a supplier company. No individual supplier company or respondent names are ever reported to our clients.

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