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Tips for
Purchasing Managers

Purchasing is where the money is made - as the old saying goes. Of course, the purchase price for products is a decisive factor for the profitability of the company and also the success of the purchasing department.

However, low purchase prices are often compensated for by poorer quality, poorer service or poor (or non-existent) documentation of the corresponding product requirements.
For many authorities, however, the formal inspection of product conformity is the easiest way to impose sales bans on products or impose expensive additional costs. A favorable purchase price thus becomes an expensive pleasure for your company and those responsible for purchasing.

However, it is anything but easy for you as a purchaser to know the respective product-specific requirements and integrate them into the purchasing process. Especially when it comes to new and innovative products.

Perhaps these 9 tips will help you to consider the topic of product compliance and product conformity as an equal factor in your purchasing negotiations and, together with quality management, ensure efficient and targeted communication with your suppliers.

9 product compliance tips for Purchasing Managers

  • Include the factors "fulfillment of product compliance requirements" and their "current and complete documentation" explicitly in your list of criteria for selecting suppliers. The two criteria should have a serious influence on the final decision or even be an exclusion criterion.
  • Create a product compliance priority list for your products and weight the factors mentioned according to your compliance risk. Not all products have the same risk, so other factors (price, delivery time, originality, ...) can be given a significantly higher weighting.
  • Create up-to-date product compliance requirements lists for the respective products or product groups and inform your suppliers at an early stage that they have a central influence on the selection of suppliers and ordering. You should review the requirements lists at least once a year.
  • Request documentation for current and comparable products early on in the negotiations and review these with your quality management team or external experts. If you discover serious deficiencies in comparable products, you should expect that discussions and incomplete documentation could also arise for your products.
  • Involve quality management or external experts at an early stage, especially for new products or new product categories. In this way, you can ensure that the relevant legal requirements from different countries are incorporated into the product concept and discussions with suppliers right from the start.
  • Include the costs for product tests, material tests and certifications of your suppliers in your calculations and negotiations. Only if it is clear to the supplier from the outset which products/materials you require tests and corresponding documentation for will the tests be calculated and carried out. This also applies in particular to series products, where regular tests of products, components and materials should be agreed.

  • Include the fulfillment of the agreed product compliance requirements in your purchasing or supplier contracts and make payment dependent on the corresponding documentation
  • Prioritize your suppliers from a product compliance perspective. If a supplier provides you with several products, it is easier to negotiate your requirements with them and train them accordingly. If the supplier implements your requirements for one product, they will usually do the same for the other products and you will receive a wider range of legally compliant products for the same effort.
  • Work with your suppliers on a long-term basis and train them regarding the product compliance measures and documents that they have to provide. It usually takes some time for suppliers to understand the rather complex legal requirements and internalize them for all products. Supplier hopping because of a few cents per product makes it difficult to establish efficient cooperation in this area, costs you valuable time and increases your risk considerably

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