Supplier Communication 101: The 'C' word(s) (Crafting the content of your email)

The ‘C’ Words


I’m sorry – I felt obliged to include at least one expletive for the fear of false advertising. But this blog is less about turning the air blue and more about making your emails a little less grey. And getting them actioned in the process.

There are three things that matter when you come to write your email. And conveniently they all start with a 'C'…


Waffle is for toasters. Remember, your suppliers are busy. They do not want to read War and Peace to find out that you have launched a new sustainable fish policy. 90% of the emails that S4RB's Supplier Engagement Consultants send are three short paragraphs:

- What is the context?
- What do I need them to do? (with a link pointing them to information on how to do it)
- Who do they contact if they have a question?


Jargon is for the bin. Banish it from your emails. Even if your audience understand your jargon, using it still makes your email a more arduous read. The easier your email is to read, the more likely your request will be done. My rule of thumb - Could Mum understand this email?


Business communication has a reputation for being dry. And for this I blame two opposing camps: the Jargon Junkies and the Plain English Brigade.

We've covered Jargon, so let me introduce you to their arch-enemies. Formed with best intentions as a counter-revolution to jargon in the business world, the Plain English Brigade believe in clear and concise writing. But what’s so wrong with that, I hear you ask?

Nothing. However, when applied in isolation – the result is very dry and simplistic material. In my opinion anyway. We live in a world full of stimulating and engaging content and the stark contrast to the material we experience at work is jarring. Adding a bit of personality to your writing goes a long way to making your material more pleasurable to read, and in turn more likely that suppliers will complete the task contained.

The results are certainly compelling

Our figures consistently show three times as many suppliers complete tasks once the ‘c’ words are adopted. That is dozens of suppliers who you don’t need to chase. That could add up to an extra day of the week. Or not needing to hire that temp to jump on the phones to call your suppliers.

How did S4RB complete a supplier scorecard 7 x faster and with 90% less resource. Find out in next week’s Supplier Communication 101 blog.

Tags: Supplier engagement

David Taylor

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