Suppliers are experts in their field. Although we may not stop to think about it too often, it’s undoubtedly true. Those of us who buy their products and services know what we want, but the suppliers are the ones who know how to make it happen.
However, they’re not experts in everything. Specifically, suppliers are not experts in your company’s processes, requirements and quirks. As a result, each task, project or initiative that you undertake with a Supplier will involve potential pitfalls and sticking points for them.
In fact, setting suppliers a task is a lot like asking them to complete an Assault Course. There’s a definite goal in sight, but to get there, they’ll have to do a few things they don’t normally do, and it’s going to be lots of hard work.
It makes good business sense to provide suppliers with the tools and know-how to get through the Assault Course successfully. The effort required to coach them through the tricky parts of what you need to achieve with them is more than worth it, because it results in Engaged Suppliers who will work efficiently with you on this task, and on future undertakings.
Like that, but better.
Over the past few weeks on the S4RB blog, we’ve taken a look at how to identify and address the obstacles suppliers may face.
In this final post in the Supplier Assault Course series, we’ll be looking at responding to unexpected obstacles, and measuring success with a view to doing an even better job with your next Assault Course.