Why it matters
As a business, we depend on strong, open, honest partnerships with our suppliers. As our founder, Jack Cohen, once said: we’re all traders together, and we need to work together to offer our customers the best products and service. Customers expect great products but they also expect us when sourcing these products to help tackle the environment and social challenges they care about. By having strong relationships with suppliers and using our reach and expertise we can ensure the products we source are not just great quality and affordable but also sustainable.
When it comes to sourcing great products everything begins with our relationships with suppliers. It is only through building strong partnerships that we are able to provide the affordable and sustainable products our customers expect.
We have made fundamental changes to the way we source products and work with our suppliers. Our goal is to build deep, sustainable, trusted partnerships with our suppliers which enable us to serve shoppers a little better every day with products they love, at prices they trust and with quality of which we are proud.
Working in collaboration
As a global retailer, we want to have a positive impact wherever we operate and by building lasting relationships with suppliers and using our industry expertise, we can help tackle risks in the supply chain.
To do this well requires the people behind every product - whether they grow it, make it, develop it, pack it, store it, deliver it or sell it - to work in partnership. So we've worked hard to build lasting relationships with our suppliers.
These relationships help businesses grow, bringing jobs and opportunities to communities across the world. They lead to increased collaboration with and between our supply partners, and they mean we can better manage risks together.
Ways of working in Central Europe
We have made great progress in the way we engage with our suppliers in Central Europe. Following the establishment of a single Product team responsible for the entire lifecycle of a product, wehave been working hard on simplifying processes and improving communications.
We conduct regular anonymous surveys of our suppliers to give them an opportunity to feedback to us. We have seen improvement in overall supplier satisfaction levels as measured by this survey. We responded to the survey results with establishing a new dedicated Supplier Engagement Team to help improve cooperation and understanding.
In 2016 we introduced new regular communications channels - Supplier Newsletter and Supplier Conferences. We also re-launched the international Supplier Protector Line for our Central Europe business partners, providing a free, professional, confidential and secure service that enables suppliers to raise concerns.
In addition, in May 2016 we launched in Poland a pilot of Supplier Helpline, a tool helping suppliers resolve any queries about working with Tesco within 48 hours, giving suppliers a single point of contact when they need help. After being trialled in Poland it will be extended to all four countries of Central Europe in the following months.
At a glance
- In Central Europe we are working with more than 7,400 suppliers (1,700 in Czech Republic, 1,700 in Slovakia, 1,900 in Hungary, 2,100 in Poland), buying 60,000 products. More than 1,000 colleagues in Product Team cooperate with our business partners on a daily basis.
- We are continuously improving in the anonymous Supplier Viewpoint survey. The “Overall satisfaction level” measure for Central Europe increased from 59% to 61.9% in the first half of 2015 and to 66.4% in the second half.
- We want to have better and stronger teams to improve cooperation with our suppliers. We have extensive capability program in place - we are spending on average from minimum 4 to 16 hours monthly on training our buyers.