Supplier management in german manufacturing companies: an empirical investigation

Marek Szwejczewski, Keith Goffin, Fred Lemke, Colin New, Rolf Pfeiffer, Bertram Lohmüller

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Effective management of suppliers is one of the ways manufacturing companies can improve their performance. Typically, it has been argued in the literature that close relationships with suppliers should be developed, in contrast to the traditional price-driven transactional relationships. However, there has been relatively little empirical research on how supplier management is applied.
This paper presents research probing how manufacturers manage their suppliers and takes a sample from Germany - which has a large manufacturing sector. In-depth interviews with purchasing managers were used to understand whether relationships with suppliers were being utilised.
The analysis of the data indicates that a significant portion of the companies surveyed had experienced a change in their relationship with suppliers in the last few years. In the main, relationships had become closer and the use of partnerships was in evidence.
The research results have implications for German manufacturing companies, as they indicate the potential for improving performance through the greater adoption of best practices in the area of supplier management. The research results indicate the need for German manufacturers to adopt leading-edge practices in the area of supplier management.
Although exploratory in nature, the investigation demonstrated the need for researchers to better,understand the range of relationships in a typical manufacturer's supplier base
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1999
EventEUROMA Conference on Managing Operations Networks - Venice, Italy
Duration: 7 Jun 19998 Jun 1999


ConferenceEUROMA Conference on Managing Operations Networks


  • supplier management
  • german
  • manufacturing companies
  • empirical study


Dive into the research topics of 'Supplier management in german manufacturing companies: an empirical investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this