Improving Decision Making: Use a Spreadsheet to Select Suppliers


Resources needed: 

1. A windows PC with Microsoft Excel installed. If you need this software, follow these steps to install it.

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2. Ess13ch02_Questionfile.xlsx

In this exercise, you will learn how to use spreadsheet software to improve management decisions about selecting suppliers. You will filter transactional data about suppliers based on several criteria to select the best suppliers for your company.

Scenario: You run a company that manufactures aircraft components. You have many competitors who are trying to offer lower prices and better service to customers, and you are trying to determine whether you can benefit from better supply chain management. The Assignments area under Week 2, you will find a spreadsheet file (Ess13ch02_Questionfile.xlsx) that contains a list of all the items your firm has ordered from its suppliers during the past three months. The fields in the spreadsheet file include vendor name, vendor identification number, purchaser’s order number, item identification number and item description (for each item ordered from the vendor), cost per item, number of units of the item ordered (quantity), total cost of each order, vendor’s accounts payable terms, order date, and actual arrival date for each order.

Prepare a recommendation of how you can use the data in this spreadsheet database to improve your decisions about selecting suppliers. Some criteria to consider for identifying preferred suppliers include: 

· the supplier’s track record for on-time deliveries 

· suppliers offering the best accounts payable terms 

· suppliers offering lower pricing when the same item can be provided by multiple suppliers. (extra credit)

Use your spreadsheet software to prepare reports to support your recommendations.

Information about the data:

· At a minimum you will need to be able to sort the database by various criteria such as item description, item cost, vendor number, or A/P terms

· A/P terms is expressed as the number of days that the customer has to pay the vendor for the purchase. In other words, 30 designates net 30 days. The vendor that allows customers the longest amount of time to pay for an order would, of course, offer the most favorable payment terms.

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