Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not in the list below, please send an e-mail to info@ipsurvey.org (in English), or to your country representative (see "Partners" page).


General and Technical

Do I need to answer all questions?
There are only two compulsory questions in the survey, which are questions C1 and C2. You can skip any other question if you think that that question is definitely not relevant for your company. However, please take into consideration that a fully completed survey will produce more reliable and comparable results.

Do I have to complete the survey all at once?
No, as a respondent, you don’t have to complete the survey all at once. You can close the survey and resume later at the point where you have left the survey, as long as you have not clicked “submit” on the last page of the survey. If you want to continue from where you have left the last time, simply click again on the survey link indicated in your invitation e-mail.

Is it possible to take the survey multiple times?
Each participant can only take the survey once. After you submit your responses in the final page, you will not be able to open the survey again.

I cannot move beyond question D1, why is that so?
C1 and C2 are the only compulsory questions in the survey as your answers given to those questions define what questions and items you will get after this question. Please be sure that you have answered all question items in C1 and C2. It is not possible to skip these questions.

I accidentally deleted my IPS invitation e-mail. How can I obtain the survey link again?
In this case please contact your local representatives (see "Partners" page) and ask them to send you another invitation e-mail. Alternatively, you might send an e-mail (in English) to info@ipsurvey.com.

I accidentally clicked the “Back” button in my internet browser and cannot go back to the survey. Are all my answers gone?
Your answers so far have been saved and you will be able to continue from the last page you have seen when you click on the survey link again indicated in your IPS invitation e-mail.

When I click on the survey link, I’m asked for a password. What is my password?
You do not need a password for the survey. Please be sure that you did not open the survey link in multiple browser windows, for instance by accidentally clicking the survey link multiple times. Try again by closing all internet browser windows, and if the problem occurs try another time. If you are still asked for a password, please send an e-mail to info@ipsurvey.com.

Why does the domain name of the survey say “unibw.de”?
The survey is hosted by the Bundeswehr University Munich, especially the chair of materials management and logistics at the Bundeswehr University Munich. The survey runs on a platform from SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey is a US company specialized in online survey software.


Why do you focus on only one category in sections C, D and E?
One of the unique aspects of this study is that we focus on purchasing activities for one specific purchasing category. The respondent is free to choose which category. By focusing on one category, we avoid the problem of asking questions about how purchasing is executed ‘in general’ or ‘on average’.

What type of purchasing category can I choose in question C1?
Basically, you are free to pick any purchasing category. You may choose a category which is deemed strategic by your organization, or a category which is deemed non-critical. You may choose a category with a high or a low spend. But, please select a category for which you are familiar with how this category is managed. The questionnaire contains questions about the supply market of that category, how the purchasing processes are organized for that category, the purchasing tools used for managing that category, and about category performance.

Results and Publications

How will I learn about the results?
The preliminary results of the survey will be available in the second half of 2014. Participants to the survey will be contacted by e-mail announcing that the results are published and they will be provided with a special link which will be available only to survey participants.

What kind of publications will there be?
First of all, there will be result summaries which are only available to survey participants. Apart from that, we expect to publish articles for public release. These will be announced via the "Publications" page of the website.


Why do you use personal links and not an anonymous survey?
In each of the participating countries, the respondents for the IPS survey are carefully targeted, because we strive for representative samples in each country. With personal links, we can manage who is invited to participate in the survey. The personal links also enable us to send reminders (if applicable), send the links for privileged access to the survey results, and to communicate on other matters related to IPS. At any time, you can opt out of further communication by sending an e-mail to your country representative (See "Partners" page), or to info@ipsurvey.org (in English language only).

What does it mean that my answers are treated with absolute confidentiality?
The IPS survey is not an anonymous survey. Your answers to the survey questions are stored in a database together with your name and e-mail address. The confidentiality of your answers is guaranteed in the following ways. First, data will be available only to your local country representatives and they will be able to see the combination of survey answers and details of the respondents. This information is used to send reminders (if applicable), send you the link for privileged access to the survey results, and to communicate with you on other matters related to IPS. When the survey data are shared with the larger group of IPS researchers, the respondent details will be taken out. Second, we will never publish respondent details in any of our publications or communications. Third, we will never publish survey data of single respondents, but only aggregate data from which individual respondents or organizations cannot be identified.

Who sees the data I submit through the survey?
Your local country representatives will be able to see all survey data and respondent data of all respondents from your country. The IPS researchers from other countries will be able to see all survey data from all countries without respondent details.


I want to take the survey but I cannot find the link on the IPS website. What can I do?
Participation to IPS is only possible via personal invitation e-mails. If you are interested, please contact your local representatives. If you match with our target respondent profile, you will receive an invitation e-mail with a personal link to the survey.


Who is IPS?

The International Purchasing Survey (IPS) project is a research initiative of academic researchers in Purchasing and Supply Management from 9 different countries. Currently, the following institutes are involved: Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Universität der Bundeswehr München (Germany), Linköpings Universitet and Högskolan i Gävle (Sweden), Aalto University School of Economics (Finland), EADA Business School (Spain), West Virginia University and Bowling Green State University (United States of America), Audencia, Nantes(France), University College Dublin (Ireland) and the Aston Business School (Great Britain).