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The Importance Of Supplier Engagement During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Featured in: KamCity April 2020. In the volatile and fast-moving circumstances the retail sector finds itself in – a vital part of the national response to COVID-19 – maintaining regular communication between retailers and suppliers is critical to ensure supply can keep up with significantly increased demand. David Taylor, Director at Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB), explains how a new approach to supplier engagement can help retailers to uphold their responsibilities to customers, employees, shareholders and suppliers.

Developing a model of communication

In the context of COVID-19, retailers must traverse a narrow line between their responsibilities to customers, employees, shareholders and suppliers, and it is important that a model is developed to ensure these areas are communicated clearly.

By considering the power, the significance and size of the supplier relationship; legitimacy, how much attention is required in the current circumstances; and urgency, the importance of supply or business continuity, retailers can assess where supplier relationships require daily engagement during the crisis, or can continue to be monitored infrequently.

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