When the Tesat-Spacecom supplier award was launched in 2008, one would never have expected it to become so popular over the years. Although the coveted award presupposes a supplier evaluation, which continuously tests all relevant aspects in the supplier's company, this is a comparatively low price for the rare honor.
But how does this supplier evaluation work? Overall, there is no dark magic behind this, but rather points are awarded within a SAP evaluation tool based on market-based criteria such as quality, delivery reliability, and a handful of other important factors. In sum: 50 for quality, 35 for delivery reliability, and 15 for the remaining factors.
Every three months, this analysis is used to carry out a trend analysis in order to examine how the supplier company develops, where there may be a need for catching up, or where a positive upward trend can be identified. Since Tesat-Spacecom is anxious to a long-term partnership with the suppliers, the companies are informed about the evaluation and the respective trends within this evaluation and, in the event of a downtrend, also informed about this. But not to build up pressure, but to recognize possible problems at an early stage and to work them off. Often it is only communication difficulties or misunderstandings that lead to problems in the end. In addition, Tesat provides affected suppliers with a customized catalog of measures that describes how to improve their own assessment within the supplier analysis and where or how to improve them.
However, Tesat-Spacecom does not rely exclusively on plain figures and facts. Interpersonal factors also play a relevant role: How, for example, does collaboration between buyers and suppliers work? How the communication? Or how is the reaction rate? Can one rely on the supplier when things are on fire, or does he even recognize inconsistencies within the ordering process that could cause a problem without a timely intervention? In the case of such topics, of course, the feedback of the individual employee in the purchasing department is a matter of course, and can ultimately be the “tip” on the scale for deciding whether the supplier receives the award or not.
The purchase of Tesat has all the suppliers (approx. 1,200 – 400 of them for system components, which are also evaluated systematically) and tries to evaluate them fair and transparent. A great deal of effort is being made for this, and it is precisely for this reason that the respective supplier companies are given the opportunity to obtain information about the test assessment system and to provide feedback. Feedback that Tesat takes to heart and uses itself to rethink and rework its own internal processes.
A further incentive for the dutiable and permanent analysis of the suppliers is the popularity of the supplier award, which was already described at the beginning of the article. An award from Tesat-Spacecom obviously has its value, if the winners spread their press releases shortly after the announcement, to present the trophy centrally in their entrance hall or even ask mid-year where and how they still “have to put on some weight” to get the price this year.
Hans-Dieter Collissy, Head of Purchasing, said: “One can see that the award is an incentive for the subcontracting community to make a special effort every year. Our annual evaluations clearly illustrate how the introduction of the supplier evaluation in 2005 and the introduction of the supplier price in 2008 have had a positive effect on the development and sustainability in the area of quality and delivery reliability.”
This year two suppliers received the honor of Tesat-Spacecom. With this year's award, Rohde & Schwarz has already received its third supplier award since 2009 and is therefore regarded as a repeat offender in terms of excellence in the area of quality, delivery reliability and flexibility. The second prize winner is the Dutch company GL Precision, which has also deserved a place at the top thanks to its extraordinary achievements and commitment.