Step 1: Search for supplier companies that are manufacturers. Look for clusters for most effective suppliers.
Step 2: Communicate to check profile, current product mix, manufacturing capabilities, quality of responses, responsiveness, etc.
Step 3: Shortlist to select the ones that “appear” capable and you feel comfortable dealing with.
Step 4: Send partial RFQ package. Wait to send samples till after supplier proves price competitiveness.
Step 5: Vet quotations for accuracy, completeness, inconsistencies, errors and omissions.
Step 6: Shortlist to select the most cost-competitive suppliers.
Step 7: Negotiate prices with suppliers. Provide target prices at this point. Assess transparency and willingness to consider various options.
Step 8: Send whole RFQ package to those suppliers who make it through the previous step. Send samples, if needed, at this point.
Step 9: Vet quotations and negotiate final prices. Select the company best in price, quality, delivery, service. Also, select a back-up.
Step 10: Get prototype samples made, with minimal financial commitments (i.e. No tooling investment yet, if possible)
Step 11: Inspect samples to assess the actual capability of the selected supplier. Move to a back-up supplier if needed.
Step 12: Select supplier and issue PO for tooling, if applicable, issue PO for PPAP samples.
Step 13: Approve PPAP samples and issue PO for a pilot batch.
Step 14: Approve Pilot batch and issue PO for production orders and schedules.
Step 15: Production shipments commence; Manage Supply Chain; Repeat.
Bank the Savings…..