Over the years I have been in contact with many companies and I have seen different models from purchasing departments and supplier quality approaches.
Supplier quality is the missing link between Quality and purchasing. The target is always to apply the best quality standards to the cheapest (or “best cost” concept now) suppliers in order to achieve the best results for the company.
It makes no sense to use the cheapest suppliers and ignoring the quality in decision-making on a supplier selection. It is necessary to involve in an early stage Supplier Quality Management for applying their criteria. Companies nowadays have more and more formularies, initial visits audits and other tools to classify suppliers . Here the importance is from purchasing to understand the minimum needs from quality to be considered: This means that maybe the second supplier in the cost list can be a long-term better option than the cheapest. In my opinion, it is clear to understand that the lack of quality has a cost implication in long-term.
On the other hand, we cannot miss the concept that all departments work for the company profit. And therefore, introducing new suppliers in the companies with a good purchasing strategy can end up in a market lead. Competitors are doing it, always remember. Never underestimate purchasing departments importance no matter if supplier quality reports for purchasing or not.
Furthermore, here comes the support of Supplier Quality which is key: how to develop a low-cost supplier. I can tell many success stories, from working closely supplier quality aligned with purchasing. The way to do it bis monitor them carefully, forget about your pride and spend a bit of effort on continuous improvement activities. Supplier Quality must understand the savings impact.
Further more in this global world a small/medium low-cost company can be a perfect partner in global purchasing, all you need is just develop them, give them business step by step and make sure your supplier quality is monitoring them and supporting to improve standards, ending up as a global partner.