Purchasing Research = The systematic study of all relevant factors which may affect the acquisition of goods and services, for the purpose of securing current and future requirements in such a way that the competitive position of the company is enhanced.
To achieve its strategic objectives for supplier relationship and supply chain management, it is essential for the procurement function to understand its supply markets – and any threats, opportunities or stakeholder influence which might affect supply.
This is obviously a broad remit but it may include various forms of information gathering and analysis, including the following:
- Environmental analysis – including STEEPLE analysis and SWOT analysis.
- Industry analysis – focusing on the structure of the buyers industry and supply markets.
- Competitor analysis – focused on the resources, actions and plans, strengths and weaknesses of key competitors.
- Critical success factor analysis – focusing on what objectives must be achieved in order to secure competitive advantage in a given market.
- Supply, demand and capacity forecasting – use of statical analysis to estimate future sourcing requirements.
- Vendor analysis – evaluating the performance, and potential capacity and capabilities, of current vendors.
- Supply market analysis – appraising general supply conditions in a market, in relation to factors such as: the likely risk of shortages, disruptions, market prices, price fluctuations and trends.
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