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Suppliers welcome standards

February 28, 2012

I held a teleconference last week to gain insight to ‘the voice of the supplier’, for a meeting this week with a national Government agency.

I wil share various of the findings in a later blog, but one interesting element to emerge was the preference for contract standards and model terms. This particular agency has recently withdrawn its standards and the result has been far greater autonomy for individual departments and purchasing groups. The experience has caused the supply base to push for a return to the (often maligned) standards of the past.

Their point is that at least those standards were predictable and they could understand and assess their risks. In this new environment, they find they are subject to arbitrary terms which take far longer to review and often result in unknown or unacceptable levels of risk.

We often call for flexibility, but must remember that it is not always going to operate in our favor – and it also carries hidden costs. A consistent baseline is a good thing to have, so long as it is not applied with too much rigidity and has the ability to adjust to shifting needs or market conditions.


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