11 Supplier Selection Factors to Establish JIT Supply Chain

23 Dec

In a JIT supply chain, reliable suppliers will reduce supply uncertainty and make the supply chain more effective, therefore supplier selection is crucial. However, Purchasing in JIT environment is different and therefore it requires a slightly different mindset for selecting suppliers who can survive in JIT Supply Chain long term. Researchers1 suggested that the selection and evaluation of supplier’s ability to delivery in JIT Supply Chain should be based upon the following factors:

Get 5S – Kaizen Guide to Organize the Workplace for Flow

Get 5S – Kaizen Guide to Organize the Workplace for Flow

JIT Supply Chain- Quantitative & Qualitative Supplier Selection Factors

1.      Delivery of a Quality Product

2.     Delivery On-Time.

3.     Frequent Deliveries.

4.     Delivery in Small Quantities.

5.     Delivery of Exact Quantities.

6.     Supplier’s Management Policy and Philosophy

7.     A Willingness and Openness to Share Data and Information

8.     Attitude towards Partnership

9.     Willingness to Undertake Continuous Improvement

10.   Desire to Develop New Products

11.   Ease of Communication at All Levels


Hall (1983) suggested capacity and willingness to improve as additional criteria to the above list.

Carr and Truesdale (1992) stated that Nissan’s supplier selection team visits supplier factories frequently. They evaluate delivery reliability similar to those above. They evaluate products from design and development through to the manufacturing processes.

The Nissan team also looked at planning, operation, tidiness, appearance of workshop, working situation and professionalism. For professionalism they looked at engineering management attitude, the number of engineers employed, how they are structured, their technical capability and their influence within the organisation. Supplier’s location and market size is of less importance to Nissan.

Aleo (1992) described the supplier selection procedures of Kodak. A selection team is formed by Kodak consisting of multi-discipline specialists. They developed a suitable decision matrix for the particular product under the evaluation. The suppliers are ranked numerically according to their ability to meet Kodak’s programmed needs.

The selection process started with a review of current documentation pertaining to their suppliers. A comparison of supplier capabilities is then recorded in the decision matrix. The team review all historical data, quality, delivery and inspection procedures. Kodak maintained an open communication with its suppliers in the area of quality improvement and advised suppliers who failed to achieve the expected quality standards. A follow-up inspection is undertaken to ensure that the agreed changes have been carried out.

Southey (1993) described the current practices of supplier appraisal as more encompassing than before. The appraisal can be divided into two areas namely quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative includes location, financial position, facilities and capacities, technical capability and standards of quality, whereas Qualitative consists of items 6-11 in list above.

Southey (1993) also suggested other general evaluation criteria when there are numerous suppliers, for example, comparison with the level and quality of similar suppliers, supplier’s relationship with competitors, supplier’s track record and potential for future improvements to sustain JIT Supply Chain.

In JIT Supply Chain, ‘Lean supply’ requires additional supplier selection criteria. Particularly in the sense of sourcing parts close to the points of manufacture so as to keep logistic cost to a minimum. The supplier must be ready to provide a service ‘locally’ wherever the manufacturer requires it in the world. As lean production develops globally, manufacturers tend to find local suppliers prepared to compete to improve leanness.


There has been huge amount of research done to identify suitable supplier selection criteria. The above mentioned 11 quantitative and qualitative factors are just one aspect which has been identified with keeping JIT Supply Chain only in mind.

Please do comment if you have noticed more factors to establish JIT Supply Chain.

Recommended Reading:

Lean and Technology: Working Hand in Hand to Enable and Energize Your Global Supply Chain (FT Press Operations Management)

Lean Supply Chain and Logistics Management


1This text is adopted from research work by Sulaiman Hasan in University of Birmingham for his SUPPLY CHAIN IMPROVEMENT FRAMEWORK (SCIF)


  • Robert Recknagel

    In my opinion, integration in the production schedule is the key effect for future supplier relationships. A production manager told me, he does not care where certain parts of value creation are performed, they all belong to the same product creation process. Following chances Industry 4.0 offers, factory walls are not a differenciating criteria anymore. IT solutions, processes and relationships need to be in place to design supply chains end-to-end without thinking in parties. Inernal producing units are as well suppliers as external suppliers. Successfull companies of the future will master complexity and synchronize their supply chain without differentiation of roles or company boarders.

  • Muhammad Mumtaz

    Supply chain is the most important factor for business point of vbeiw and it needs always remain opned for every one the best method of th supplu chain is that the proper planning of the material to be hold at easy place from where any one can move it properly without any issue.Further it will support to the both parties supplier and the subcriber to manage it timely to full fill the need of retail subsriber.In addition to it if the material is properly placed and managed with proper tags that will help to the person concern to sortout it easly for early/ rush delivery to the vender for timely excution.deptt of supply chain alway remain opened for tose wh really enjoyed while working and especially for the person who really want to learn/ grow he should have the knowledge of supply chain management.

  • Peter Bii

    Am not sure if it does relate to management policy and philosophy;the supplier should be responsible and adhere to environment laws and regulations,cater for employees welfare and have a CSR outreach-(l could call it a humane aspect of the supplier) should be considered.

  • 8 Must Have Supply Chain Competencies to Triumph in Your Career

    […] steps. In general learning and implementing the best known of these are the aforementioned: lean manufacturing (JIT), Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, and Agile […]

Leave A Comment