A supplier plays an important role in the success of your business. If they deliver their cement or services on time, it will help you stay on schedule with your own work. Whether your suppliers provide materials, labour, tools or services, their performance can heavily impact your own processes and deliverables.
Choosing the right supplier is an important decision to make, especially when it comes to cement and construction materials. Their abilities, quality of products and professional conduct can make or break your construction project. But how do you know whether your cement supplier is performing well? You need to be able to objectively evaluate their performance constantly.
This evaluation will help you to hold your cement suppliers to a high standard and ensure that you get the best service and support from them. Having clear lines of communication between your business and the supplier is essential for a successful partnership.
By having a formalised system in place to evaluate supplier performance, you will be able to reduce risks, save money and increase efficiency. Here are some steps to take that will allow you to judge your supplier’s performance:
1) Establish your evaluation criteria
It is important to decide what characteristics you value in a supplier. These will form the basis of your evaluation criteria and help you to maintain a professional relationship with your supplier. Make them known to the supplier so that they can also work towards a successful partnership.
Your company’s needs and processes will form the basic outline for these characteristics, which may include the following:
- Punctuality – Does your supplier deliver on time, every time? Even when factors beyond their control delay the delivery process, a good supplier will always communicate these delays and do their utmost to ensure that your project is not affected too badly. If your cement supplier is always late and offers no explanation, then your business will suffer.
- Accuracy – Does your supplier provide the correct products or services with very few mistakes? Are there any flaws in their products that will affect the quality of your project? Your success often rests on the supplier’s accuracy, so keep this characteristic in mind.
- Responsiveness – Does your supplier respond to your requests or concerns quickly? When you place an order or have a question to ask, are the lines of communication direct and easy to manage? Suppliers that are responsive will save you time, money and stress.
- Flexibility – Delays can happen on your end, too. Does your supplier accommodate delays and adjust their schedule to fit yours? If your supplier is happy to push the date of delivery back by a few days, then they will be able to meet your needs and keep the partnership strong.
- Quality control – Does your cement supplier evaluate the quality of their own products and consistently provide you with the best materials on the market? Do they take pride in their services? Are they offering good value for money? Quality does not only come from the actual cement supplied but also the value-added services offered by the supplier.
2) Categorise suppliers for evaluation
Once you have established your evaluation criteria, start to categorise your various suppliers depending on the importance of their performance to your project success. Some suppliers provide vital products, such as cement, that directly influence the project quality and schedule. Other suppliers provide less critical services.
By categorising your suppliers into primary and secondary lists, it will help you to determine the importance of their performance for your project success. It will also allow you to devote more time and energy to the evaluation of primary suppliers’ performance.
3) Choose employees to run the evaluation process
If you are unable to do the evaluation yourself, then make sure you select the right employees to do it for you. Those who work closest with the supplier should complete the performance evaluation. While many employees may not be able to see the full picture, it is important to choose someone that works with the materials or directly with the supplier themselves. This will lead to an accurate performance judgement.
4) Create a method for evaluation
Next, you will need to create a method for judging the performance of your suppliers. These techniques could include evaluation forms, surveys, data capturing and computer programmes. You could conduct a survey with your employees to rate the performance of the supplier, or you could create evaluation forms that objectively determine the performance based on key criteria.
Keep a list of any mistakes that the supplier makes, including miscommunication and delayed deliveries. Include on the list any product defects, poor quality materials or inefficient service. These will help you to create your method of evaluation and get a full understanding of the supplier’s performance.
5) Continue the partnership or terminate their services
Now you should be able to decide whether you are happy with the supplier’s performance or whether you think it best to use another business. If there are too many red flags, it is best for your project and employees to terminate the services of the supplier. However, if you are happy with their performance, it always helps to show appreciation and build on a good relationship.
It is always good to hold your suppliers to a high standard. This will be mutually beneficial to your project and their business. Try to help suppliers improve their services where they can by giving them feedback from your evaluation. These reports will give them the opportunity to improve their offerings and correct and issues.
LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.
LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.
At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.