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Performing Due Diligence on a Potential Supplier The scope of any due diligence practice will be influenced by the cost of the services being obtained, the cruciality of the services to your business, and the hazards involved if the services were withheld or delivered recklessly. However, notwithstanding the size of your business, there are some essential steps you have to follow. Know your needs and preferences. You need to be clear from the get-go what you want to achieve. This will help to pinpoint exactly what you particularly need from your supplier, not only in terms of their service offering but their values and how they work with their customers as well. Looking into the Market
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After knowing your wants and needs, you can create a shortlist of possible supplier candidates using a “Request for Information” document (RFI). This concisely outlines the necessary goods and/or services and asks for information related to the capabilities and competencies of suppliers.
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Investigating Probable Suppliers The checklist below will help you assess your prospective suppliers’ capabilities and fit with your business: Business Identity- Know who you’re dealing with, whether they are a legitimate business and if the person you are negotiating has the authority to commit the supplier. Financial Background- A supplier with an operating loss, or considerable loss of revenue over the last few years may have underlying problems. Delivery of Goods/Services – Does the supplier’s recommended approach to meeting your requirements suit your current practices? How do they intend to contain any difficulties? Will they be able to deliver the promised services for the price they have quoted you? How do they compare with others on this particular aspect? On this account, how do they compare with the others? Quality – Examine the credentials and/or standards’ accreditations of the supplier . Cost- Compare quotes from different suppliers. However, keep in mind that best value for money doesn’t automatically mean the cheapest price. Business age – Longevity may increase your confidence but a younger company can be innovative in approach and attitude. Track record – Ask for comments or feedback from other clients (you probably know some). Speak to your prospective supplier – Not only is this a great way of seeing if you will be able to work together but also provides you a chance to check out their premises, look at samples of service deliverables or witness demos on how the services are going to be performed. Risk Assessment and Management The moment you appoint your supplier, create a risk register expounding on relevant risks and how to handle them. This may be referred to over the course of the relationship. Choosing Data Processors Sharing data with your supplier may be necessary, but do make sure they are fully aware of current data protection regulations and will actually comply.