Breadth of Supplier Base - Many or Few Suppliers
The traditional approach to supplier selection is to prepare a tender document and request a quotation from a range of suitable suppliers. The process of selection often plays one supplier off against another with least cost being the deciding factor. Alternatively, a long-term view might be taken where a partnership agreements might be made that would involve a close working relationship with few suppliers. Recently Marks and Spencer, a UK retailer has reduced its number of suppliers and has moved towards a tighter control of supplier activity.