A sole-source supplier is a supplier that is your only source for a specific product, and you should be aware of them when you have them. The implications of a sole-source supplier should be clear to anyone, not just a procurement or logistics professional: If something impacts the ability of this supplier to deliver goods or services, your company is going to be severely affected. How many do you have, and who are they? If you’re a CPO, you should know. If you have a CPO reporting to you: You should know.
(Bonus points for your CPO if he or she can answer this supply chain visibility question: How many of our suppliers have sole-source suppliers?)
#2: Which of our suppliers is the most critical for our network?
A critical supplier is one whose downfall can seriously disrupt your ability to meet your commitments to your customers. Sole-source suppliers are great examples of critical suppliers, but they’re not the only example. All kinds of criteria should go into this consideration: spend amount, what they supply, how often they supply it, how reliant you are on it, etc. Without question, your CPO should be able to pull a list of these suppliers and know exactly why they’re critical to your supply chain—and your business.