Case studies

Case study main feature image4

Retailer implements supplier assessment tool to manage risk and develop suppliers



This leading UK retailer takes great pride in its diverse supplier base which includes 650 small, local, regional and artisan suppliers. To continue working with these smaller suppliers, the retailer needed to minimise the risks associated with local and regional manufacturing. It also needed a more efficient process for assessing the credibility of potential suppliers, ensuring the time spent on this group was as effective as possible and to focus buying resource and technical support on the right suppliers.



S4RB implemented a two-step solution within the On-Boarding and Supplier Assessment modules of its Affinity™ platform to meet the retailer’s requirements. First, a supplier self-assessment tool was set up through the retailer’s existing Engage portal. Key questions and supplier requirements were provided by the retailer, with S4RB’s consultants curating and maintaining the online self-assessment. Suppliers are now able to fill in high level information about their organisation to find out if they meet the retailer’s minimum requirements; a process which is free of-charge to the supplier. Suppliers who meet the requirements are then asked to complete a risk assessment. The system has rule-based parameters set to calculate the risk associated with new suppliers. It also allows the supplier to self-qualify if appropriate, saving both retailer and supplier time and effort. This means the retailer team only review to approve or decline potential new suppliers who pass the initial self-assessment stage. This drastically reduces the administration time for buyers. S4RB consultants also review incomplete applications and deal with supplier queries on the retailer’s behalf. The assessments allow both S4RB and the retailer to leave a comment or question for the supplier, creating a two-way dialogue. The system also allowed for payments to be taken online from chosen suppliers progressing to the full risk assessment, further reducing the administration time for the retailer.



The retailer is now able to review, decline or provide feedback to potential suppliers all within one system. This has removed the need for separate spreadsheets and keeps all communications with suppliers in one place. Automated chasers reduce the time spent by the retailer working to get each supplier approved. The creation of a two-step assessment feature allows the retailer to easily and consistently check the suitability of new suppliers and ensure that they are able to meet the minimum requirements set out to become a supplier and are therefore retail-ready. The assessment tool saves the retailer time and resource by significantly reducing the average time spent reviewing potential suppliers’ capability. It makes it easier to find new suppliers that can meet the right standards, and allows buyers to spend more time working with the right new suppliers on winning local and artisan products.


Key Facts

> Over 650 local and regional suppliers

> Over 1500 products

> Buyer resource saved equivalent to 0.5 FTE


New call-to-action

Team S4RB

Share this blog: