Many companies have achieved impressive improvements in quality, delivery, and costs using results-oriented supplier development. With this approach, a team led by purchasing professionals makes technical changes such as simplifying work flows, standardizing work processes, and reducing set-up times in a supplier's operations. However, after such supplier development efforts, suppliers often return to "business as usual," failing to make further improvements on their own. This article first describes the benefits and shortcomings of results-oriented supplier development. Next, building upon successful cases of supplier development and research in change management, this article describes process-oriented supplier development practices which are more effective in building a supplier's capability for improvement. Finally, this article discusses the commitment of resources necessary for this approach to supplier development.
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