Supplier Approval Tips to Avoid Common MistakesSupplier approval for blue chip companies can be daunting for any food and drink business. Here are some tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes. These are taken from a presentation that I gave at The Food Exchange by Enterprise Nation.
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Know your customer.Often this means visiting their sites and speaking to staff. It could be that they are looking for deliveries every day or using a wholesaler that can deliver single packs. Understand their pain points, so that you can solve them.
Specifications are important.They set out the quality that you are supplying and can be in various formats. Some retailers and wholesalers insist upon set formats and programmes, others will accept yours. If you are given a specification that you are to match, ask for more information, if you need it. One aspect that is often missed is the information that the logistics team needs. This can include pack sizes and carton weights. Know your supply chain. Make sure that audits and visits to suppliers are documented and that you have risk assessed your supply chain from a food safety perspective. Monitor your supplier performance, including complaints. Have a secondary supply source, wherever possible, which is approved, and keep your list of approved suppliers up to date and available to those key team members that need it, such as the buyers and “goods in”. Get Technical. Read the Code of Practice or Technical Standard for your product group published by the organization that you want to supply. Understand the requirements for supplier approval. Do a self audit for your weak areas. Check any product group specific requirements, e.g. microbiological testing frequency. Does your target business have a “banned or restricted foods” list? Get a copy, if they do.