The Fighter Fire Fighting Company is an established organization with proven track record in all kinds of firefighting solutions. They are leading provider for all such material to both private and government sector. M/s FFF is mainly into manufacturing and sells of range of protective equipment, safety shoes, self-guard wear, harnesses etc mainly designed to work in extremely working conditions yet taking care of Human lives The products made by M/s FFF are of high quality & global safety standards rather than only focusing on cost. They constantly upgrade product specs keeping OHAS standards & HSW guidelines globally. New Product development is one of the most focussed area for organization rather than economy of scale. Organization belief is to deal with niche market rather than preferred supplier for everyone. You are current buyer at M/s FFF has taken up this role recently from junior position as your senior buyer got retired. With your limited exposure on this category of product you have handled in past which were mostly indirect in nature. You have always learned to focus on cost savings & hence finds it difficult to influence correct sourcing strategy. While procurement procedures and system in company are same, considering safety related category, quality and timely delivery is most critical aspect, which means you will have to work immediately to explore sourcing strategy & approaches.
Additional concerned for you is that some of company’s key suppliers are facing financial difficulties. However, you as buyer is still uncertain on how to investigate the financial position of these suppliers. The information left by the retired senior buyer is several years out of date and you are concerned that their position could now be significantly worse. You as buyer believes that you would needs to research the supply market in order to gather more information on external supplier capabilities and found more suppliers in the market. This will allow you to identify alternative suppliers with the necessary technical and quality standards and good financial stability.
a. Identify atleast five signs that you as buyer should look for to indicate that certain suppliers are experiencing financial difficulties. (5 Marks)
b. Explain sources and approaches that the buyer could take to evaluate new prospective suppliers for Fighter Fire Fighting Company.