Collaboration between buyers and suppliers is the key to success for procurement function. However, the concept remains marred with ignorance and ego, where mostly procurement teams fail to develop healthy partnerships with suppliers and rather end up treating them unfairly in many instances.
Trust sits at the heart of collaboration but how many procurement teams and suppliers are able to nurture that? It is a million-dollar question.
Procurement teams invariably want their suppliers to place trust in them, however, that is not often reciprocal and that is the problem. In the long term, your trusted suppliers can become a part of your growth story. There can be several other advantages, such as:
the suppliers who work with you for a long time naturally become accustomed to your organization’s work culture. They know what it takes to succeed when working with your organization and thus can deploy the right level of skills and efficiency to meet your needs without fail.
collaboration with experienced suppliers will rule out all the fire-fighting that may happen in case of adhoc, urgent jobs. As these suppliers already know your policies, procedures and standards, they will be able to deliver on any orders much faster than the newer ones.
Room for innovation:
suppliers being the external organizations mostly deal with several other companies. They get experience from diverse practices and have a much larger outlook therefore. This diversity of knowledge and experience can be leveraged by your organization. You may become aware of new innovative practices that may help you in raising the bar within your function.
In a way, good collaboration with suppliers can help you in keeping abreast of the evolving trends and catch up quickly. Otherwise, working within the same-old function may make you look inward and far from the developments that could be critical for the growth of your department and your organization as a whole.
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Author – Aval Sethi, Founder