Program Administration

Supplier Certification – Picking the Right Suppliers

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Supplier certification is an essential component of establishing and maintaining the overall quality of your relocation policy. It is a vital element when your company is trying to track your supplier partners’ performance, develop reasonable contract provisions, and, most importantly, protect itself and its employees against any issues that may arise in the relocation process.

We’ve laid out the most important aspects of supplier certification below. Following these steps has enabled CapRelo to find quality suppliers we can trust, and should do the same for you.

Evaluate Your Needs Internally to Develop a Comprehensive Relocation Policy

Before you even begin the hunt for your suppliers, your company’s leadership, in partnership with HR, needs to conduct an internal needs analysis. This is beneficial because it allows your leadership to examine your current relocation process from beginning to end in order to locate gaps.

At this stage, you should determine your current usage and spend during each part of the relocation process and find areas where you excel and places where you can streamline. Get a full sense of what your present and future operations will look like so you can proceed with the most knowledge.

Once you have addressed your internal needs, start developing a comprehensive sourcing strategy. While not a complete list of questions you need to consider, the following can kickstart your strategic planning:

  • How does your company want to handle relocations?
  • What will your ideal relocation processes look like?
  • Are you going to opt for a single provider or have multiple suppliers?
  • How high or low is your ideal risk tolerance?

Answer these questions head-on and weigh every option that’s available to you. Then, use those answers to craft a strategy that will not only fit into your current operations but will also scale as you expand.

Develop a Selection and Supplier Certification Process

Once your relocation policy is in place, turn your attention to the supplier companies that provide relocation services. Whether your company has chosen to employ multiple suppliers or just one, you will need to create criteria to vet and select them.

To do this effectively, review each of the key components of the relocation process, from selling a home to visa acquirement, and develop a set of baseline metrics for each supplier. These metrics should cover measurable factors such as historical quality, performance, and financial stability.

One important aspect we never overlook is the competitiveness of different markets. It’s important to ask what position your potential supplier occupies in their respective market. Are they excelling, or just keeping their head above water? Will they remain competitive for the short-term, or do they have staying power? These are not always easy questions to answer, but they help make the strongest, most informed decisions.

Once it’s time to start your selection process, compare the suppliers against your established baseline metrics to discover who could work within your policy. Your selection criteria should not be one-size-fits-all. Because they perform different tasks, develop a metrics system for each supplier that evaluates them fairly. For instance, consider the difference between carriers transporting household goods vs. the services of real estate brokers who help transferees find new homes. They perform entirely different things, so those differences should be reflected in your metrics.

RFQs and RFPs are prime opportunities to develop clear points of evaluation. At CapRelo, we make them thorough and detailed so both parties are clear about expectations from the outset. Here’s just a sample of what we include:

  • Detailed expectations about the opportunity
  • Product/service specifications
  • Delivery/service expectations
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Pricing structure
  • Financial terms

Ultimately, there is no must-have measurement list. In fact, there is no standard supplier certification method. You can create your quality control, certification, and supply chain management benchmarks however you want. What matters most is that your measurement standards are fair, easy-to-understand, and scalable.

Establish Quality Control Methods

It is imperative that you conduct frequent performance management assessments to maintain high-quality supplier services, even after you have certified your suppliers. The easiest way to do that is to evaluate the consistency of multiple relocations for all components in your supply chain. Your suppliers should be giving you and your employee dependable quality service. If they aren’t, they’re failing to fulfill their basic requirements as a certified relocation partner.

To make sure they are hitting the mark, create or employ metrics that allow you to measure your suppliers’ performance and display your findings in easy-to-understand results. Additionally, establish an internal audit checklist to measure supplier performance. You need to consider your unique policy and create assessments for each supplier. The only requirements are that your standards be measurable, and they must make sense for your company’s agreement with its partners.

Partner with a Relocation Firm

Relocating an employee is, at best, complicated. Employing a Relocation Management Company (RMC) to handle these many logistics takes the risk and stress out of the proceedings. RMCs perform essential steps, like supplier certification and management procedures, for you. Going this route saves you time and money.

At CapRelo, we follow a strict set of procedures to ensure we use the best suppliers at every stage of the relocation process, ensuring relocation is as smooth as possible.

Whether you choose to make this a DIY project or opt to partner with an RMC, the goal should be a smooth, stress-free, successful relocation program. With CapRelo, you’re guaranteed one.

About the Author

Chris Owens

Director, Enterprise Supply Chain & Procurement

Chris is the ultimate supply chain management professional with over 34 years of experience, successfully managing supplier and client relationships that help companies maximize their supply chain, procurement and supplier implementation operations.   …