approved suppliera raw material or component supplier which is selected as the ‘preferred’ source of inputs as part of a firm's PURCHASING requirements. In recent years many firms have sought to reduce the number of their suppliers and this has led to greater emphasis being placed on the means of approving suppliers. The trend has been to move away from item price as the single determinant of who supplies, to a list of attributes the supplier must constantly keep to. For example, accuracy of delivery times, or agreed quality standards and specifications, as well as total item cost. Approved suppliers benefit from this arrangement because it usually involves longer-term agreements to supply. See SOURCING.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson