Here are some edited highlights. For the full debates and to add your views,
go to www.personneltoday.com/discussionforums
I am looking for advice about creating a preferred supplier list (PSL). People tend to go to any agency they know of or which has been recommended. How can I decide between which agencies to approach for information?
Answer 1: PSLs can be useful, although many companies are moving over to a tiered system where they have a PSL consisting of, say, three preferred suppliers at an agreed rate and if they cannot supply then you move down to the second tier.
Answer 2: We have a simple process to control our PSL. If we have had dealings with a business for some time, say six months or more, we add them to our preferred supplier list. A questionnaire is then sent out to the business asking for trading specifics, and what services they can offer us, where, and average timeframes for delivery. Although it is the responsibility of our managers to advise when a business should be removed from the list, it is reviewed at least annually.
What is the difference between a strategy and a plan? Can a business have more than one strategy?
Answer 1: A strategy is a macro picture of how we would address a new market, a new opportunity or a new product or service. It provides direction. Strategies are normally required when very little information is available. Planning is a tool used to evolve a strategy for a specific organisation's direction. A plan is a set of steps for each area of the strategy that would address customers, internal processes, financial outcome and people. It is a definitive step-by-step approach to achieving the strategy.