The first step in supplier selection is often research, particularly if the item or service has not been purchased before. There are a number of tools to assist you in this initial phase:
It is a good practice to investigate the financial stability of the supplier. WHOI uses Dun & Bradstreet to analyze the stability of publicly-held companies. There services may be obtained by contacting the Procurement Department. There is a fee for these services. Any member of the financial management team at WHOI can assist you in understanding these reports.
Analyzing a privately held company is more difficult. It may be necessary to look at an audited financial statement for the company. You may also ask for bank and other trade references. Again, any member of the finance team can assist you in this analysis.