Better alignment with suppliers to ensure success moving forward
The group traded stories about how their relationships with suppliers changed – in many cases quite dramatically – during the pandemic. Procurement leaders need to balance today's uncertain demand with long-term supply commitments, all while customers want increased speed to market. Meanwhile, as they try to manage skyrocketing requests, some suppliers have streamlined and simplified their process for escalation.
During this period of rapid change, some companies have found value in incorporating more collaboration into their supplier relationships. They've focused on becoming their suppliers' customer of choice, worked to gain their trust, and learned from their specialized knowledge. Companies have asked their suppliers for multi-tier transparency, but in return, they've also provided more information to help the suppliers with their own forecasting.
That enhanced collaboration and partnership helps both sides. It's easier for suppliers to grow their business with a current client than find a new one. And when you're a supplier's customer of choice, they will be more inclined to bring their latest innovations to you to help you stay competitive.