How do we start to uncover better metrics when it comes to judging a supplier’s ability and dependability to supply respondents for a given project? The traditional approach of using a “panel book” doesn’t give us the detail we need in the digital age, and a new article on ESOMAR’s RW Connect blog by JD Deitch outlines ways that buyers can start to get a better understanding of a supplier’s capabilities.

In the piece, he covers three main ways we can start to look at feasibility that make sense in the digital age.

  1. Ask how many panelists have been recently active and questions about participant activity. While buyers may commonly see the metric “active in the past 90 days”, sometimes it is a good idea to dig in deeper. The more recent the number of days (e.g. 30 or 14 days instead of 90) the more reliable the number becomes.  
  2. Examine the number of completes the supplier has achieved in a given period, such as completes in the past year or, better yet, the past month. This metric needs no explanation as it reflects the reality of a supplier’s business and puts all the cards on the table.  
  3. Look for a company’s maximum or “spot” feasibility. This approach gives us the most precise and practical number possible as it effectively represents a promise on the part of the supplier to deliver.

JD writes: “When you get a feasibility number from the supplier, this is effectively their commitment to deliver. There is no single way of estimating feasibility, and not all calculations are equal.” The best way to really understand what your supplier will deliver is to demand transparency and have a foundational knowledge about the process, so you know which questions to ask.

The full-length article provides greater detail and more explanation surrounding sample metrics, and you can check it out here: