The role of supplier development programs in improving products and processes


prof. dr hab. Maciej URBANIAK – Uniwersytet Łódzki, Wydział Zarządzania, Katedra Logistyki, ul. Matejki 22/26, 90-237 Łódź, Polska; e-mail:

received: 15.07.2021
accepted: 30.07.2021


Purpose: The purpose of the article is to present the role of supplier development programs in improving products and processes, as well as to indicate the related benefits and barriers.
Design/methodology/approach: The article uses the method of critical analysis of the literature, the method of synthesis and logical inference.
Findings/conclusions: It was found that supplier development programs are more and more often oriented towards implementing risk management concepts in order to reduce the level of quality defects or avoid the risk of delays in delivery. Effective implementation of these programs allows suppliers and recipients to improve the quality of products, shorten process cycles and reduce their costs, as well as improve mutual communication. Supplier development activities contribute to lowering transaction costs related to searching for new procurement opportunities, conducting audits and other forms of supplier evaluation, verification and qualification. The most common barriers that can be noticed when implementing this type of programs include the lack of adequate resources at suppliers and too significant differences in the organizational cultures of partners.
Research limitations: Research limitations may be focusing on an arbitrarily selected group of scientific publications. In the future, in order to better recognize the phenomenon, the method of a synthetic literature review should be used.
Practical implications: The presented methodology for implementing supplier development programs can be used by enterprises in building a value chain to improve products and processes. These programs are examples of helping suppliers in the implementation of quality, environment, safety system management and improvement tools such as TPS, Lean Management or Six Sigma.
Originality/value: The methodology of implementing supplier development programs presented in the article may be an example of good practices in building relationships between cooperating companies.


supplier development programs, product and process improvement

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