Supplier development tools & techniques 

Your suppliers, your way. Achieve more on-time, right-first-time.

As an own brand leader, you need to provide a program of supplier development to ensure your suppliers not only meet your brand and policy standards but truly understand your business, systems and strategies.

It’s notoriously difficult to mobilise suppliers behind brand initiatives, whether it be sourcing, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), nutrition improvements etc. 

Whatever the brand goal, it can only be achieved if suppliers are actively aligned behind it and this is where supplier development comes in.

The admin workload around managing suppliers is dramatically reduced when suppliers are engaged, and supplier development techniques are employed.

Supplier development initiatives

Perhaps your previous mandatory supplier development initiatives haven’t helped suppliers to achieve full compliance and policy communications fail to scratch the surface of suppliers truly understanding their content. There’s the added problem that creating training often distracts your key team members from delivering the core role for significant periods of time.

Facilitating supplier development for own brand teams

We’ve developed a system and supporting Supplier Engagement methodology that allows own brand suppliers to take the initiative in their training and development – taking the pressure off your own brand team.

By offering an optional programme of online supplier courses, incorporating gamification elements, we’ve found that suppliers will be motivated to find the time for training. They will even compete among themselves for the top spot on the leaderboard!

The platform that makes supplier development easy

We call this supplier development tool Supplier Academy and it is available to own brand retailers via our Affinity™ platform.

Affinity brings all your suppliers together, making them part of an extended retail team. The Supplier Academy module offers a highly engaging, low-maintenance, completely measurable way of achieving your supplier development business objectives.


Create bespoke online training courses and assessments for suppliers.


Motivate suppliers to complete training using points, levels and badges.


Utilise knowledge base content to easily create courses.


Encourage independent learning. 


See which suppliers have completed training.


Recommend specific courses to suppliers that need it.

Want to learn more about building your own Supplier Academy?

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Online supplier training with Supplier Academy

Supplier Academy can also be used to handle bookings for courses ran by third parties.

After each training session, suppliers can check that they’ve understood what they’ve just been shown. The platform is a constructive space where suppliers are encouraged to get the most out of the training on offer. It’s a far cry from expensive, mandatory classroom sessions which are begrudgingly attended.

The Supplier Academy module can be purchased either as a standalone module or can be implemented alongside other Affinity modules. Find out more about Affinity here.

The supplier development benefits of an online Supplier Academy

1. Significant increase in suppliers successfully completing your training programmes

2. Save money by removing cost of paid classroom training from supply chain

3. Reduce maintenance burden by linking training content to knowledgebase

4. Build high levels of supplier engagement by providing a positive experience

5. Create a training record to ensure compliance