Profiling Vendor Performance
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Citation:James K. Bracken and John C. Calhoun, "Profiling Vendor Performance," Library Resources & Technical Services 28, no. 2 (1984): 120-128.
Giving a single wholesaler virtually all of the Knox College Library's firm orders, in return for promises of better delivery and discount, necessitated a change in the method of evaluating wholesaler performance. Unable to compare our vendor with his competitors, we instead attempted to profile the vendor's performance, coding the firm orders by response time in weeks and then arranging them by accounts (or subject areas) and by publishers. This method allowed us to identify specific strengths and weaknesses in our vendor's stock and to determine how well he could serve the particular needs of the library. About thirty-six hundred orders in twenty-nine accounts (or subject areas) and forty trade and academic publishers were analyzed, with the results indicating that, despite the vendor's claims for the comprehensiveness of his stock, in fact, only 40 to 50 percent of our orders could be filled from his stock, and, furthermore, his performance with regard to both subjects and publishers varied as much as 50 percent. The findings suggest that order periods should be shortened from twenty or twenty-four weeks to sixteen or twelve weeks to encourage delivery and that a vendor's performances with specific subjects and publishers should be considered before placing orders.
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