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Supplier base management : experiences from the UK and Germany

Szwejczewski, Marek and Goffin, Keith and Lemke, Fred and Pfeiffer, Rolf and Lohmüller, Bertram (2000) Supplier base management : experiences from the UK and Germany. International Journal of Logistics Management, 11 (2). pp. 45-58. ISSN 0957-4093

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Streamlining the supplier base is a common approach in many US and UK manufacturing companies. However, is this approach being adopted in Germany as fast as it has in the UK? This paper describes research that answers this question and investigates how German companies are managing contacts with their suppliers. The research was conducted in two stages. First, a postal survey of German and UK manufacturers identified the supplier base trends. Second, a follow-up telephone survey of a random sample of German plants investigated supplier management processes. The findings show that German manufacturers have not reduced their supplier base by as much as their UK counterparts. However, German manufacturers that have reduced their supplier base perceive significant benefits. Currently, many companies appear to have failed to recognize the potential of working with a reduced supplier base.