By definition, the relationship between the organization and its suppliers is a supply chain, and we all know that the strength of a chain depends upon its weakest link! So, it becomes imperative to ensure that all the links in the chain are strong and capable of withstanding constant unrelenting pressures that come from numerous sources, market conditions being among the foremost.
Given that any outsourcing helps an organization to devote its total energies to its core areas of operation, it is a crucially important affair for the organization to ensure that the supplier puts in a more than satisfactory performance. This is possible only if some efforts are put in by both sides to establish a mutually supportive relationship. If the organization has clarity on its requirements and expectations from the relationship which it can articulate adequately to the supplier and makes it a basis for the contract, the relationship will have definite chances of succeeding with a little further assistance. An ideal situation is to have a relationship, which eliminates risk and achieves optimization through creating synergies which proves beneficial to both the organizations.
Lack of trust and considerations of monetary gain will need to take a backseat if a genuine and long-lasting relationship is to be fostered. As a first step, both sides should work to eliminate any lingering feelings that they are getting short-changed in some manner in the way the relationship is being managed or seek immediate resolution and rectification of the cause for friction. This may not be possible without both the parties showing a willingness to listen to the other party, and both may actually find that the other may have ideas that can be leveraged and implemented to tweak the existing process to reap benefits.
The relationship will need to be strong at all levels and it is never sufficient to have only one rung of the organization involving with a corresponding cross-section on the other side. The supervisory and top management levels must also enjoy cordial relationships which could encourage collaboration among both teams and provide instantaneous resolutions, should the need arise. An explicit understanding may also be reached by creating a platform for information sharing, expectation setting, status reviews, problem solving and issue resolution, future planning and also, risk mitigation plans. This platform could also be of use to you in establishing mutual respect, better people relations, and better support in tough times with quick disposal of contract renewal with scope for negotiating better terms.
While the supplier bills get processes in much faster time frames compared to the days of manual processing, there may be issues with disputes arising from what is recorded by the VMS as the number of days and hours worked, compared to the supplier’s claim. Always make sure that the lines of communication are open on both sides and that a quick issue resolution is available. This is not an insurmountable task in these days of technological advances.
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