A collaborative approach to vendor supplier scorecarding

by | Oct 1, 2019

Vendor supplier scorecarding brings to mind an image of penalties imposed by retailers or grocers onto their supplier community. Scorecards are often associated with chargebacks for noncompliance in areas such as late shipments, incomplete shipments or even improperly placed shipping labels.

Of course, compliance is an important part of managing supplier performance, but it’s more important to consider the strategic purpose of a vendor scorecard. A scorecarding effort with insightful supplier metrics can help both the retailer and its suppliers perform better, together.

Using vendor scorecards to drive positive change

Scorecards can foster collaboration that helps all trading partners make positive changes in their supply chain performance instead of being used as a punitive measure.

For example, if a retailer wants to improve vendor metrics such as fill rate (or the amount of product shipped as a percentage of the total order), they can work collaboratively with suppliers to make improvements. This can involve activities such as making sure suppliers acknowledge orders and communicate any changes in what they plan to ship versus the original order.

By doing so, the retailer knows what to expect from vendors, and can send additional purchase orders at a later date for the remaining quantity.

Vendor scorecarding has significant benefits for suppliers as well. If suppliers have ready access to tangible metrics on performance, they gain more insight into what to improve.

For example, we worked with a supplier who was not consistently sending required advance ship notices (ASNs) to a retail customer. As a result, the supplier’s product got stuck on the receiving dock and was delayed getting onto store shelves, causing both the retailer and the supplier to lose sales. 

For reasons like this, SPS is seeing more vendors develop scorecards themselves and proactively bring them to retailers so that they can have a joint discussion on what’s going well and changes that are needed to improve their vendor metrics.

Full-Service providers go beyond scorecarding to improve vendor performance

Starting a conversation around vendor scorecarding isn’t always easy. Full-service providers like SPS Commerce not only provide a vendor scorecarding solution but also an expert team that can help retailers and suppliers interpret the information and formulate a plan to collaboratively improve supply chain performance.

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Brandon Pierre

Senior Director for Customer Success - Community & Analytics at SPS Commerce at SPS Commerce
As a Senior Director for Customer Success at SPS, Brandon Pierre’s team works alongside many retailers and suppliers to develop strategies that involve technology along with the people and process around it to address their merchandising and supply chain business objectives. With more than 15 years in the buying organizations including large and small, he has experienced first-hand the opportunities of the digital era and how technology can transform the consumer experience through improved retailer and supplier connections.
Brandon Pierre


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