Strategic purchasing and the evaluation of 'problem' key supply relationships: What do key suppliers need to know?

Andrew Pressey, Nikolaos Tzokas, Heidi Winklhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Previous research has reported that the adoption of a strategic purchasing orientation (SPO) requires closer relationships with key suppliers and greater long‐term planning in supply management. This paper aims to develop a generic framework for the evaluation of key supply relationships incorporating seven key categories and to empirically test these assumptions by comparing firms reporting high levels of strategic purchasing to those with low levels.

Design/methodology/approach: The data collection employed a mail survey sent to the senior manager responsible for purchasing in their organisation (n = 50).

Findings: The article finds that high SPO firms more closely scrutinise their supply relationships across a broad range of attributes, and, as well as perennially important issues such as quality and delivery, they emphasise “fit” between buyer and supplier (e.g. fit with the competitive strategy and organisational culture of the buying firm) as an important criterion in identifying failing relationships.

Research limitations/implications: The positioning of the current study as one of the first to address the evaluation of suppliers under strategic purchasing adoption calls for further replication.

Practical implications: The results of this study afford suppliers an understanding of the criteria by which firms adopting strategic purchasing evaluate troubled or weak relationships. This would seem particularly timely given the shift towards strategic purchasing by many organisations.

Originality/value: This study presents one of the first attempts to assess “ineffective” supplier performance and to incorporate metrics on strategic supplier selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-294
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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