6 October 2010
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7 Attributes of an Effective Customer / Supplier Partnership

Every time I hear the word Partnership I want to throw something! The business community uses this word so freely that in many business situations it has lost all meaning and value. So here are some of the most important attributes that I have observed in a true Customer / Supplier Partnership:

  1. Ongoing collaboration with a willingness to Partner (Customer and Supplier organizations)
  2. Established and agreed to goals for Customer and Supplier (KPIs if you prefer within joint Scorecard)
  3. Sharing of risks and rewards (dependency on mutual business success)
  4. Cross-functional / high-wide-deep engagement of all Team members
  5. Periodic business progress reviews (not sales meetings)
  6. A format to mutually economically succeed; documented, validated and agreed to economic value beyond just pricing schedules
  7. Executive level interactions

I am sure that we could all add many, many more, however, I would suggest that this is an adequate start. If there are not at least these 7 of these attributes in play than there is more than likely a pure Buyer-Supplier relationship in place; and maybe not even a relationship.

The tragedy here is that in today’s competitive and challenging business climate, it is through Partnerships that all become stronger and survive. Not sure why some Customers as well as some Suppliers still just don’t get it. It requires one integrated TEAM!

Dennis

www.chapmanhq.com