10 Cs of Supplier Sourcing or Evaluation For Potential Suppliers

One of the last things you want to see is to realize that you’ve picked the wrong supplier partner to work with in the middle of the production process. It takes tremendous time and effort from different parties to right the wrong, and there’s a big chance that you might lose your market to your competitors because of the bad decision.

So, how to avoid selecting the wrong supplier partner? Is there some sort of standard that can keep you from making such a bad decision?

Gladly, yes, the supplier sourcing or selecting standard does exist. And it have stood the test of time to prove its efficiency when it comes to sourcing the ideal supplier. It’s called the Carter’s 10 C’s model of selecting suppliers.

What are Carter’s 10 Cs? How can they help with the supplier sourcing process?

How to use Carter’s 10 Cs model for supplier sourcing?

The Carter’s 10 Cs model of supplier sourcing is not a checklist. Instead, each of the criteria requires you to evaluate your suppliers in a more comprehensive way. In this way, your potential suppliers will have a fair competition, and you may be able to negotiate a better price for your product. Here is how you can use the Carter’s 10 Cs model to select the ideal supplier.


  • Do the suppliers have the capable engineers and supporting resources to get the job down?
  • Have any of their previous client switched to a different supplier before? If so, why?


  • Do the potential suppliers have the equipment, staff and materials to meet your requirements?
  • How would they fulfill your mechanical needs when they have more than one clients at hand?
  • How flexible are they when it comes to market and lead time fluctuation?


  • How committed are they in building a long term relationship with you?
  • How committed are they in producing high quality products? Are there examples from their previous customers that can back their stories up?


  • Are they outsourcing some of the functions to other companies or companies?
  • How much control do they have over the policies, processes, procedures, and the overall supply chain?
  • How do they ensure the consistency and reliability?


  • How are the financial status of the suppliers?
  • Are they financially healthy enough to withstand the ups and downs in the real world?
  • Do they have evidence to prove their financial status?


Even though the cost factor is the core concern for many companies, it’s sometimes over emphasized. Focusing on the cost only while neglecting factors such as supplier’s commitment and capacity could lead to low-quality product and insufficient capabilities to deal with surging orders. Definitely not what you want to see.

  • How much does the product or material cost?


  • How do the suppliers ensure the consistency of the product and service quality?
  • If possible, could they demonstrate how they do it?


  • Do you and your suppliers share similar values? For instance, do you value more the long-term supplier relationship, or the profits from the one-time cooperation?
  • Do you or the suppliers have experience in cross-cultures cooperation? For instance, are the engineers on the both sides speaking two languages?


  • Do the suppliers have a green and sustainable development strategy?
  • Do they have ethical integrity?


  • Will they initiate a dialogue only when you ask, or will they do so at a timely bases?
  • Will you be the last one to be notified when something happen in the supply chain?
  • Who will they reach out to, and who will respond to your questions and requests on their sides?

So that concludes the Carter’s 10 Cs model for supplier sourcing. Should you have any question when it comes to selecting the right supplier, feel free to reach out, and we’ll be glad to help.

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