Business Tools

Three Key Points to Keep Your Supply Chain Moving Freely

Part two of the SEMA Recession Survival Series Webinar program, “Relationship Management Within the Supply Chain: Get the Most from Your Suppliers, Company and Teams,” presented by Nancy McGuire, president of McGuire Consulting Group Inc., demonstrated that building strong supplier relationships through trust, mutual value and a long-term vision is integral to your company’s success.

“In the supply chain, relationship management is moving to the top of the list as a critical requirement and skill,” said McGuire.    

McGuire stated that one of the three foundations to building a strong relationship is trust.

“If you tell someone you are going to return a call within 24 hours, you do it,” said McGuire. “If somebody asks you for something within a certain deadline, you meet it. That stuff matters. Those types of dependability items develop trust in the other person.”

The next key category that McGuire revealed for establishing a solid relationship is mutual value. She stated that in order for a relationship to work well, both parties must be getting value.

“You need to have frequent contact, meaning you don’t just call when you need something,” said McGuire. “Oftentimes I will call when I want to offer help. ‘How are you doing? What do you need? Is there anything I can help you with?’”

The third component of a strong supplier relationship is a long-term horizon. McGuire emphasized how essential it is to think in terms of long-term results. She warned against burning bridges, even if the working relationship is one that you view as short-term.

“You never know when you are going to work with that person again,” said McGuire. “In your industry, people move around. A person who is a supplier today is a client tomorrow.” 

McGuire’s presentation included a template that you can use with internal clients to provide them with updates and also to receive feedback. She stated that this template will solicit and improve your relationship with your clients.

McGuire stressed the importance of applying her practices and establishing a better supplier relationship.

“The number four strategy coming from your industry, from feedback from your vehicle manufacturers, says a trusting long-term relationship with select specialty-equipment suppliers would be beneficial,” said McGuire. “So right in your own industry it’s recognized that this is a crucial part of the way you are going to go forward in your strategies.”

To download an audio or PDF version of the complete webinar, click here. To download all past SEMA webinars, click here.

Don’t miss the upcoming webinars:

  • “Job Costing Systems That Will Boost Your Cash Flow,” Thursday, April 2, 2009, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. (PDT)
  • “Tough Times Bring Change: Learn How to Manage and Move Forward,” Thursday, April 9, 2009, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. (PDT)

To view the entire calendar of the SEMA Recession Survival Series Webinar program, click here.