“Top 10” ways to improve supplier-customer relationships…

Published on October 20, 2010 in "Top Ten" Lists | No Comments

…and achieve supply-chain alignment using TeamReadiness.

How do suppliers keep customers happy and still make an acceptable profit? How do suppliers satisfy customers given the changing, often chaotic, characteristics of the market place (changes to delivery dates, order quantities, material costs, customer requirements, team members, etc.)?

Arguably, the primary goal of the supplier-customer relationship is Perfect Order Fulfillment – where every requirement of a customer’s order or job is done correctly, on time, according specification, within budget, as expected. If you consistently achieve Perfect Order Fulfillment, then you, as a supplier, will have a satisfied customer, helping to ensure a long term profitable relationship. At the end of the day, what really matters is performance, results. Did you achieve Perfect Order Fulfillment? Did you do the job you were brought on to do?

The demands of the supply chain are not unlike the demands of any important relationship. TeamReadiness examines both the requirements of the supply chain and the requirements for healthy relationships to find ways that we can best enable and improve supplier-customer relationships to achieve alignment and perfect order fulfillment.

“Humans and their behavior is what propels supply chains; ignore that fact at your peril.”
-John Gattorna, Author, “Dynamic Supply Chain Alignment”

(Elements are shown in random order and are not prioritized)

NOTE: The Supply Chain Council identifies supply chain performance as focused on Reliability, Responsiveness, Agility, Cost, and Assets.

“Top Ten” Supplier-Customer Relationship Elements


How TeamReadiness Can Help

1. Reliability
  • “Achievement of customer demand fulfillment on-time, complete, without damage etc.” (Supply Chain Council)
  • Consistently doing what is expected of you.
  • Getting the same results time and time again.
  • TeamReadiness documents your plans, processes, procedures, policies and more in highly visual formats (photos, videos, etc.). Team members can reference and train on these documents so they know how to do their jobs and can do them well — every time!
2. Responsiveness
  • “The time it takes to react to and fulfill customer demand.”(Supply Chain Council)
  • Working the process, procedures, and tools to quickly accommodate normal demands or changes.
  • Reaction time to events or disruptions within the system.
  • TeamReadiness enables people with the skills and tools they need to fully understand and perform their jobs. Using TeamReadiness, team members will have the skills and confidence to quickly react to any events or disruptions affecting your customers.
3. Agility
  • “The ability of supply chain to increase/decrease demand within a given planned period.”(Supply Chain Council)
  • Having a mindset, independent of existing processes, procedures, and tools, to adapt and react quickly to unforeseen events, uncertainty, and changes.
  • Ability to deal with change; to accommodate activities outside of the known system that are new and unfamiliar.
  • TeamReadiness can help create a learning culture necessary for an agile work force and supply chain. As team members share their knowledge with one another and collaborate for problem solving and continuous improvement, they quickly develop the skills and mindset necessary for an ever changing marketplace.
4. Cost
  • “Objective assessment of all components of supply chain cost.”(Supply Chain Council)
  • Ability to align costs with demands of customers and shareholders in order to make a profit.
  • TeamReadiness makes it possible for your team members to have the skills and tools they need to operate at peak efficiency, keeping costs down. And they can easily collaborate to find ways to continuously improve operations to find lower cost solutions. Strong working knowledge of the tools, techniques and procedures required to perform and manage a job is necessary for proper cost management.
5. Assets
  • “The assessment of all resources used to fulfill customer demand.”(Supply Chain Council)
  • Ability to control and utilize resources to satisfy demand and make a profit.
  • TeamReadiness helps team members identify and understand the assets at their disposal so they can be utilized as needed to accommodate and satisfy customer demand.
6. Listen & Understand
  • Demonstrate that you heard what your customer said and that you understood what they said by taking the appropriate action.
  • Visible signs of actions taken to satisfy customer requirements or alleviate customer fears or concerns.
  • Actions beyond nodding your head in agreement or saying, “ok” when a customer shares important concerns.
  • TeamReadiness gives your customers confidence that you heard and understood them. That you are doing the right things to incorporate their requirements and desires into your procedures and training programs to accommodate their needs.
  • TeamReadiness documents your customers’ requirements so customers can see that your team members have the information need to do their jobs correctly, as expected.
7. Communicate
  • Open exchange and sharing of information.
  • Level of trust and respect that results in sharing information that may not be necessary, but might be helpful.
  • TeamReadiness Mission: Easily capture and share knowledge so that people know how to do their jobs, and can do them well. The ability to easily share information and collaborate is fundamental to good communications.
  • TeamReadiness makes it very easy to communicate easy knowledge capture and, using TRM On Demand™, easy knowledge sharing.
8. Collaborate
  • Working together on projects to solve problems, continuous improvement, etc.
  • Working together in ways that are cooperative, participative, harmonious, open, sincere, etc.
  • TeamReadiness requires, promotes, and encourages sharing of information and provides the means for communicating and collaborating using TRM On Demand™.
  • TeamReadiness gets team members involved in sharing and demonstrating their procedures and practices, inspiring pride and esprit de corps.
9. Respect
  • To deem someone or something as having a certain value and to interact and respond accordingly.
  • TeamReadiness provides the means for sharing information, collaborating, and problem solving to bring people together, break down barriers, and foster cooperation.
10. Shared Goals & Values
  • Goals define where you are going, the results you wish to achieve.
  • Values are principles and ideals that govern behavior.
  • Shared goals and values unify the team toward a common purpose, motivation, and how to work together to achieve it.
  • TeamReadiness can train and educate team members on exactly what values, behavior, culture, and expectations are for the organization and for each job function.

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TeamReadiness™ can help!
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