Development of suppliers and supply chains : Supplier development as a purchasing strategy

Abstract: Purchasing is a function that has developed form a more clerical function to a function of strategic importance over the last 20 years. As a result of this development we have observed that many fi rms engage in supplier development activities as a part of their purchasing strategy. This thesis consists of four different essays describing various aspects of supplier development and an essay that summarise and connects the four essays as well as giving a broad introduction to the fi eld of research. Small and medium sized firms are of special interest when studying supplier or supply chain since they are important links in their supply chains but have fewer resources and therefore limited possibilities to develop by themselves. In the thesis three of the essays describe different ways in which this can be conducted. Positive benefits from supplier and supply chain development reported in the thesis are lower costs, shorter lead times, increased competence and an overall improved competitiveness.