Managing Supplier Relationships

Maintaining good supplier relationships should be important to all members of the community. A good buyer-seller relationship is a partnership, a win-win situation that nurtures both parties. A supplier treated with courtesy, honesty and fairness will deliver quality products and services at the best price. A supplier who feels he or she is being treated well will be responsive to emergency and special requests. A well-managed supplier is a useful resource in attaining industry knowledge also.

There is also a public relations aspect to procurement that should not be overlooked. WHOI is in a unique Position in the local, research and business communities. Our name is well known and associated with quality and integrity. This reputation is an important asset that we should always strive to maintain. A well-managed supplier is likely to communicate their positive experiences to others, further enhancing our reputation.

Here are some guidelines to positive supplier relationships:

  • Be Fair
    Give all qualified suppliers equal access to compete for our business.

  • Maintain Integrity
    A supplier's price is confidential and should never be shared with another supplier for any reason.

  • Be Honest
    Never inflate requirements to get better pricing. Negotiate in good faith. Do not change requirements and expect the supplier to hold their offering. Communicate with suppliers openly and honestly.

  • Be Ethical
    Procurement decisions should be made objectively and free from any personal considerations.

  • Be Courteous
    Treat suppliers as you wish to be treated.

  • Be Reasonable
    A supplier is entitled to make a profit. Requirements should be attainable without putting undue financial hardship on either party.

  • Process Needed Documents Promptly
    We demand our suppliers to respond to the requirements in a timely manner. We too have an obligation to uphold our end of the bargain by providing them with timely documents and payments.

Last updated: August 7, 2007