Supplier Satisfaction Surveys (S3)

Most companies would benefit from a more enlightened approach to managing their supplier relationships. As a diverse set of research shows, relationships matter to the point where they can be a source of competitive advantage. We know that suppliers are critical to a company’s success. But how do these suppliers feel about doing business with the company? Is the company a good customer who consistently receives preferential treatment and investment from suppliers? Or just another customer who fails to capture the benefits that a world-class supply base can potentially provide to key customers?

One way a company can find out how its suppliers feel about it is simply to ask them. The CVCR has developed an innovative research methodology called the Supplier Satisfaction Survey (S3). S3 asks detailed questions about suppliers’ perceptions of the sponsoring company within the following areas:

  • Supplier performance feedback
  • Ethical and business conduct
  • Procurement knowledge and skills
  • Responsiveness to supplier concerns or questions
  • Quality and delivery performance requirements
  • Business-to-business relationship
  • Quotation, negotiation, and contracting practices
  • Business opportunity and payment terms
  • Supply chain information sharing and transaction efficiency
  • Comparisons against an ideal customer

S3 is designed to achieve some important outcomes that benefit companies directly and quickly. First, by analyzing the survey results, the CVCR can identify strengths, weaknesses, and improvement opportunities as they relate to the success of a company’s supplier management efforts.

A second outcome from S3 is a quantitative score that measures the sponsoring company’s performance against that of an ideal customer. Companies can use this score as a benchmark to assess progress after making improvements to their supplier management practices.

A third innovative feature of the S3 design is its ability to calculate and rank performance gaps. These gaps represent the difference between what suppliers say is most important to them and the performance scores that they receive from those suppliers.

And finally, S3 moves beyond the presentation of data to provide advanced statistical analyses and a customer-focused action plan that identifies specific improvement opportunities.

Any company may sponsor an S3 study, but CVCR member companies receive discounted pricing.

For more information, or to sponsor an S3 study, please contact us.