“The Supplier Day concept works very effectively for creating a partnership, cost reduction, and collaboration with your Suppliers if it is done right.
The first step is for the coordinator, typically the head of Supply Chain Management, Materials Management, or Purchasing Management to write an invitation letter, with an agenda and time frame, to Suppliers of the same commodity or mixed Suppliers with a topic/subject matter
A Supplier Value Analysis (VA) questionnaire should be attached to the invitation/agenda letter for input from the specialist in their field, the Supplier themselves. There should be a due date on the VA questionnaire for submission before the date of the Supplier Day for the coordinator and Suppler Day cross-functional committee to study. This form will be discussed, and implemented after the Supplier Day if it is an effective VA , Cost Reduction, submission. Typically this form is discussed behind closed doors during the Supplier Day to further brainstorm, and possibly implement, the Supplier Cost Reduction idea(s).
A welcome to the Supplier Day with a date and name of all Suppliers should be in the lobby to greet the Suppliers as they arrive for the Supplier Day.
Coffee is available, with perhaps some breakfast bakery, to greet your Suppliers on the Supplier Day. If you wish, you can hand out literature about your company hosting this event.The agenda is followed, and time monitored, by an accountable person of the Customer’s cross-functional Supplier Day team, during the Supplier Day, so time does not go astray and the Supplier Day does not take longer than the time allotted by all concerned in the Supplier Day. Typically it should go from 9 AM to 2 PM, with a light lunch served in the Supplier Day Conference Room.
The coordinator opens the meeting with a warm welcome to everyone attending, and reviews the agenda, and the goals and objectives of the Supplier Day meeting. The Suppliers next get a chance to present them selves and their product lines. They should be presenting, alphabetically. There must be a time limit on these presentations monitored again by the timekeeper of the cross-functional Suppler Day coordinating team.
A short, but effective, plant/office/operations tour follows or can come before Supplier presentations, depending on the agenda.
A break for lunch, and informal discussion, follows the tour. Next are the private meetings to discuss the VA questionnaire submissions, any contract discussions, or collaborative exchanges. These one-on-one meeting times are monitored, as well, by the accountable time monitoring person to keep the agenda on track, time wise.There can be more than one, one-on-one meetings going on at the same time, by different cross-functional team members hosting separate one-on-one meetings.The rest of the Suppliers can be brainstorming on other subjects like the plant tour while waiting for their one-on-one sessions to take place with other cross-functional Suppler Day members available to facilitate these meetings.
After the one-on-one meetings are complete, everyone returns to the conference room for the end of the Supplier Day Conference.Any final comments are welcome, and the coordinator then closes the meeting thanking everyone for their attendance and participation. Feedback report cards can be given to the Suppliers who attended this conference which can be used to improve the next Supplier Day conference.
The cross-functional Supplier Day team can meet after the Supplier Day conference is completed, to critique the Supplier Day, review the effective Cost Reduction ideas submitted for potential implementation and calculate the Cost Savings from the Supplier Day, and whatever subject matter needs to be reviewed at that time.”
One of the The Good Word authors
Charles M, Intrieri Consulting
Professional Value Analysis/Value Engineering Administrator/Consultant
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