2-6 Involve Suppliers in Planning

Supplier involvement can be a key element to successful SCM. During the Conceptualize Need task in USPS Supplying Practices Process Step 1: Identify Needs, the purchase/SCM team assessed the supplier community’s perspectives on whether and how an outcome can be achieved. Maintaining supplier involvement furthers Postal Service by reducing costs and time to market, increasing quality, and creating stronger ties with suppliers. The difference between ESI and involving suppliers in planning is in focus. In the earlier practice the Postal Service sought the marketplace’s insight and opinions on whether a requirement was feasible; during this task, the Postal Service seeks the marketplace’s insight in obtaining best value.

Supplier involvement during planning aids the determination of the type and content of the product or service sought and how the need can best be communicated to the supplier community (SOO, SOW), specifications, product descriptions). The elements necessary to successfully involving suppliers during planning are: