TIME REQUIRED15 Minutes + Worksheet

DOWNLOADS Supplier Evaluation Worksheet click here 

essential previous learningNone

Ten C’s of Supplier Evaluation

Choose the right suppliers for your business

Key learning outcomes:

  • Describe the evaluation methodology devised by Ray Carter in 1995.
  • Apply the 10 C’s whenever you change or appoint a supplier for your business.
  • Understand the importance of researching potential suppliers before entering into agreements.
  • Recognise that low cost and high quality may not go hand in hand.


Choosing between suppliers for your business can be daunting. Your choice of suppliers will often directly impact the level of service or the quality of product that you give your customer. For example, think about the printer who is faced with the late ink delivery or the restaurant that serves inferior quality food to its customers. As a business owner, you will need to make a number of decisions about suppliers, and it can be tempting to go with the one that offers you the best cost advantage. However, there are a number of factors that you need to consider before signing a contract or locking yourself into a long-term agreement. Ray Carter designed a system of supplier evaluation in 1995. His original model only contained 7 C’s, with three more added at a later date to make it the 10 C’s. Use this article in conjunction with the accompanying worksheet to help you to choose the most suitable suppliers for your business.

The 10 C’s

When evaluating a supplier you need to consider all the factors, or the 10 C’s, outlined below. We find the best way to do this is to give the supplier a score out of 10 for each of the 10 C’s. If you are evaluating more than one supplier, this will allow you to make a direct comparison. Use our worksheet, which is available to download at the top of the article.


This is a measure of how competent the supplier is. You need to look at their competency and match it with the needs of your business. Remember to ask for evidence to back up any statements or sales pitches that the supplier gives you. Ask to talk to some of their current customers and pay particular attention to businesses that are the same size or that have similar needs.

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