Vendor Selection for Office Supplies and Equipment

Selecting suppliers of office equipment and stationary requires thorough scrutiny of vendors who express interest in supplying products for a business. As a company, we need to adopt pre-determined criteria that can be used to select vendors who meet particular office requirements. Different companies use different criteria to choose their vendors depending on their needs and ability (Parthiban, Zubar & Katakar, 2013). In contrast to well-established companies, small companies often choose vendors who can supply necessary materials at a lower price. Having clear selection criteria helps a company to undertake the tendering process with ease because the process limits to checking whether vendors meet set qualifications.

One of the most common selection criterion is based on experience and performance of the supplier. The tendering company considers the history of the suppliers and analyzes how they performed in their previous supply opportunities of the specific product. The second criterion is the level of quality system superiority. This includes considerations of regulatory requirements or compulsory quality registrations such as ISO certification. In addition, a supplier might be chosen depending on its capacity to meet potential and current capacity demands. Only the vendors that have enough personnel, the means to ensures timely deliveries are maintained, and can supply the required products within the schedule should be regarded.

A vendor is also selected with the reference to its financial stability. The vendors who are financially stable are those to opt for because there is a high probability that they can meet customer demand without financial crisis compared to financially unstable vendors who might depend on loans and fail to deliver the products. Another criterion is the availability of technical support and the willingness to become a partner in creating a business design and entering into a long-term relationship. It is also important to calculate the total cost incurred when handling the vendor and check its track record for improving performance (Vona, 2012).

For every product that the company requires, it is crucial to have a cross-functional team, which consists of representatives from all the departments to define vendor selection criteria (Parthiban, Zubar & Katakar, 2013). Moreover, to determine the suitability of a supplier to the chosen criteria, it is advisable to evaluate its financial reports. The financial report might show the supplier’s business performance over time and its ability to meet client needs (Watjatrakul, 2014). The supplier can be tested by setting particular requirements and assessing its ability to meet them. In addition, the management should visit the supplier’s office and gain first-hand information regarding the business status. During such a visit, on-site assessment should be conducted, and other customers served by the supplier might be engaged to evaluate the service.The Thomson Rivers University is one of the institutions that apply selection criteria when identifying its suppliers. All the suppliers of the University must meet several requirements, which include satisfactory quality and quantity, price, delivery, history, and financial status among others. These requirements are essential for ensuring that the suppliers are reliable, and the products meet set standards.

For our company, I recommend adopting a combination of two criteria. First, the supplier’s past performance and experience when dealing with the product should be critically analyzed. The suppliers who show interest in the supply opportunity should provide enough evidence on their previous supplies and the feedback from their customers. They should also be able to explain why their tenders were not renewed and what they experienced when doing their previous supplies. Secondly, our company should consider the supplier's financial stability. Since we are making purchases for the whole financial year, it is important to have a supplier who is financially stable and would not incur a financial crisis that can result in supply failure.