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A procurement team is categorising their purchased items into four quadrants of Kraljic's supply chain portfolio matrix. They realise that there are some low-value items which come from very few suppliers in the market. The organisation is critically dependent on these suppliers. The team plans to reduce the dependence by finding alternative sources. Is this a right course of action?

  • A. Yes, the organisation needs to reduce the supply risks
  • B. No, the organisation should run competitive biddings to exploit the competition
  • C. No, there is no way to escape this dependency
  • D. Yes, this action will dramatically increase the supplier's bargaining power

Answer: A


According to Kraljic portfolio matrix, the low-value items with high supply risk are bottleneck items.

The purchasing strategy that is commonly recommended for these products is primarily based on acceptance of the dependence and reduction of the negative effects of the unfavourable position. An alternative strategy suggested by purchasing practitioners is to find other suppliers and move towards the non-critical quadrant.

- Accept dependence, reduce negative consequences: The main focus of this strategy is to assure supply, if necessary even at additional cost. Examples of this strategy are keeping extra stocks of the materials concerned or developing consigned stock agreements with suppliers. By performing a risk analysis firms can identify the most important bottleneck products and consider the implications. A possible action for dealing with unexpected bad dependence positions for certain products is to employ contingency planning.

- Reduce dependence and risk, find other solutions: This strategy is geared towards reducing the dependence on the supplier. The most common way to achieve this is to broaden the specifications of the product or to search for new suppliers.

The procurement team in the scenario has selected reducing dependency by finding alternatives. This is a right strategy for bottleneck item.


- CIPS study guide page 82-84

- Purchasing strategies in the Kraljic matrix-A power and dependence perspective, Marjolein C.J. Caniels, Cees J. Gelderman LO 2, AC 2.1


To improve the productivity, Plantation Ltd is planning to purchase a tractor, which it has never bought before. The project must be quick to catch up with the next growing season. Leanne, a jun-ior procurement staff at the company, assumes that she could skip market analysis stage to save time. Is this assumption reasonable?

  • A. No, market analysis will inform the company of the pricing as well as latest technology trends
  • B. Yes, Leanne just needs to purchase the tractor from her friend's company
  • C. No, the company assesses supplier's performance solely based on market analysis
  • D. Yes, the company has extensive experience in purchasing tractor

Answer: A


Market analysis is a stage in CIPS Procurement and Supply Cycle. This stage informs the purchaser about the number of suppliers, the average pricing, and product trends. Even urgent purchase should undergo market analysis. Without undertaking this stage, the buying organisation may not purchase the right product, or they may purchase at higher price.


LO 2, AC 2.1


What is the document that defines the activities, deliverables and timelines a supplier must carry out during contract performance?

  • A. Framework agreement
  • B. Work instruction
  • C. Project initial document
  • D. Statement of work

Answer: D


Statement of Work (SoW) is the document that captures and defines all aspects of your project. You'll note the activities, deliverables and the timetable for the project. It's an extremely detailed document as it will lay the groundwork for the project plan.

Project Initial Document is an important document and should precede any specification writing project. It sets out the scope of the project and it is the team's mandate from senior management Work instructions are also called work guides, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), job aids or user manuals, depending on the situation. In any case, the purpose of work instructions is to clearly explain how a particular work task is performed.

Framework agreements are arrangements between one or more buyers and one or more suppliers that provide the terms governing contracts to be established for a certain period of time, in particular with regard to price and, where necessary, the quantity envisaged.


LO 3, AC 3.1