Relationships for supply chain success


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Relationships for supply chain success

Relationships in the supply chain
The term “relationships” comprises a lot of lands in the management of the supply chain. There are strategic relationships, tactical relationships, transactional relationships, internal relationships, and perhaps more. There are also relationships between members of the Supply Chain community. Let’s look at the first.
Our universe of Supply chains can be considered grouped around three “areas”, almost comparable to the social departments of pre-revolutionary France. We can, without stretching too far, qualify them as a domain – the university community (or the “clergy”); The second area – consultants and software developers (or “nobility”); And the third area – work practitioners (or “commons”), then led by the bourgeoisie of visible and advanced defenders. There is also a kind of the fourth field (or “press”) in the management of the supply chain, but the commercial press generally does not play the same role of Guard Dog as his counterpart in the outside world.
At the moment it is important to realize that the relationships between the areas of the supply chain must be maintained for balance. Too much strength and influence in a single camp can undermine the effectiveness of your supply chain.
The most important ways to bring areas together and to take advantage of their talents and their individual contributions live in the professional organizations of the field, including the Council of Professionals for the Management of the Supply Chain (CSCMP) and the Education and Research Research Council (research ( Werc). The personal networks built among the leaders of the three areas during the annual meetings of these groups continue to exploit the synergy potential of their cooperation forces.


Relationships between companies and all government levels – federal, national and local – are also important. Government and regulatory organizations can offer restrictions and incentives, regulations and freedom, as well as roadblocks and possibilities for a sole proprietorship. They also offer places for education and research and can help create environments that incubate consultants and technological development.
Programs and actions at all levels of the government can exert powerful influences on the location of the activities of the Supply Chain, their success, and their dedication to maintaining a physical presence and an investment in places, regions, and countries.
They help explain the phenomenon of “brain flight”, relocations of the siege, certain supply decisions, the commercial flight of certain states, and constant economic discomfort in countries that should be prosperous due to all rights. The world of Thomas Friedman is flat and the Lexus and the olive tree both give an overview of these phenomena.
At the level where most of us work every day, there are essential relationships to build and feed: between the company and its most important suppliers; Between the company and its customers; And between the company and academics, consultants, software suppliers, and other doctors. This relational company remains increasingly complicated. Let’s touch on a number of important problems, a bit closer to the ground level.

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Let’s start with working relationships between suppliers and customers, who like to call some people “partnerships”. She does not make mention of trade relationships or “partnerships”. Moreover, there are limits to the number of partnerships that a company can effectively maintain. Admittedly, you cannot have partnerships with everyone in your supply chain, unless the chain consists of you and two others alone.
However, it is important to maintain high trust, high communication, and mutual affordable relationships with the most important suppliers and customers, whether they are mentioned or not. Admittedly, there is very successful mega marine that is able to dictate prices, conditions, and processes to their suppliers by threatening their business. But the fact is that a few of us can tell our suppliers: “My path or the highway”. For the rest of us, the creation and development of solid and positive relationships is the key to the success of the supply chain.
In an ideal supply chain relationship, customers and suppliers connect to enable them to easily exchange information, request data, and visit the status. What does it mean? For openers, this means communicating the demand events and the orientation of strategic plans. This also means linking information systems and when jointly benefiting from the internet potential and other electronic communication. This means working together to reduce costs and improve quality and understand capacities and capacities. And do not neglect your responsibility to teach your partners the techniques needed to succeed in the 21st century.
On the customer’s side, this means many of the same things that only work in a different direction. You must know their strategies and instructions, their event plans, and their flexibility and resilience needs. The planning, forecast, and supply process in collaboration (CPFR) works in both directions. Your customers must know your capacities and capacities, just as you need to know about their own. And don’t forget that it is your responsibility to teach them the ways in which you can help them succeed in their markets.
Wherever you are in the power of the Supply Chain, you can improve your positioning by incorporating both electricity and electricity commercial problems – and what the user or the ultimate consumer wants and needs.
All this costs a fundamental talent, a positive attitude, and a global culture of strong relationships. And it must be real. As someone ever noted, “you can only simulate sincerity for so long.” This is true in the world of the supply chain, that’s for sure.


Before a company tries to build good external relationships, it must first put its own house in order. You cannot really develop open communication with others if your organization itself is divided.
Within the friendly limits of your four walls, production and distribution have to do more than communicate – they have to walk in locking. The two functions must be connected to what happens to sales and marketing. Supply and Supply cannot work independently of the other functions of the Supply Chain. Senior management must include the organization of the Supply Chain in the strategic information, while the organization of the Supply Chain level C agents must inform what it can do to support the strategies.
This means joint planning and joint problem-solving. This means inter-functional teams with a different purpose than politically correct. This means that everyone, if not a voice, has at least one audience in the development of products and discussions about the extensions of the storage unit (SKU).
If all this seems alarming, you are not ready to manage external relationships. They cannot succeed as long as your company is not a master of its own field.


As soon as the problems within the company and the biggest supply chain have been resolved satisfactorily, the relationships with service providers do not forget. This need is particularly sharp when the logistics service providers (LSP) are involved.
The construction of a successful LSP relationship is absolutely essential for their successful use. Open and complete communication is from the start of vital importance, starting with the evaluation and selection processes. Working relationships at different levels in the two organizations offer the key so that the processes work and effectively solve the problems that inevitably occur.
And the work does not stop there. LSP relationships, such as weddings, require constant effort and continuous attention. The LSP must also know the upcoming events, strategy changes, and new products and customers – things that many companies have used to keep “secret”.
The length relationship of the traditional arm, based on transactions, can work at a low price, but it does nothing to build a basis for the future. You and your LSP must enter into a regular dialogue about where and how they can add value to what you do.
It is more difficult to have a relationship with consultants who expand management positions and generations. But the quality of relationships with consultants can have a deep effect on the quality and size of the results. For better results, mutual trust and open communication are necessary. The more your consultants know what is really going on and the more you can tell them, the better their opportunities to achieve the core of problems and design target solutions.
With regard to software suppliers, they are often described as unscrupulous sellers or inhibition. It’s unfair. When it comes to assessing suppliers, your work is in the search for and assessing the qualities that can enter into a positive mutual relationship during a successful implementation.
Just like all other aspects of the supply chain, it is a matter of purchase more than alone. It is a matter of a lasting relationship with someone who can play a key role in your successful success of the supply chain.

The Role of Consultants

Logistics service providers (LSP) are not the only thirds that hide in the subsection of Supply Chain management. Weeds are also full of management consultants.
They are everywhere. They are at every conference, seminar, and agreement. They are on the internet with websites, e-newsletters, webinars, and spam. They are in all commercial publications. They speak; They write; They are constantly sold.
Who are they? What are they doing? Do they help or irritate? Do they really offer a value proposal?


At best, Management Consulting can be a noble calling. It is a high-level company that requires huge amounts of talent and integrity, as well as a strong sense of mission and emergency situations. In the worst case, it is a shame and a scandal. To be honest, there have been spectacular failures in consultation projects.
Whatever your point of view, the rise of the management of the Supply Chain as a commercial orientation of the new century has attracted consultants of all conceivable varieties. Some have been there for years and evolve with the field. Others are new to the game, and they seem to think that adding supply chain management to their list of service offers is sufficient to gain access to the rules of the game.


There was a time when a lot of care was given to distinguishing consulting services from management advisory services. The distinction has faded over time. But the involvement is that the advisers give comments and an enlightened opinion and that consultants play a more active role. Consultants make decisions and act on behalf of the customer. They design and implement processes, installations, and systems – in short, they do practical work.
Consultants offer a varied collection of various commercial models and approaches to problem-solving. Let’s start by trying to sort out some of the fundamental types.


This category consists of immense organizations with thousands of people. They can be partnerships; They can be companies. They are more and more multinational.
Many mega consultants have their origins in gigantic accounting firms. A few years ago each of the so-called “eight” American public accounting firms had huge advisory departments. They generally tried to be everything for all customers, and they would follow the advice in every channel that had the promise of growth or profit. By making multinational accounting conglomerates, their consultants also added the appearance of an international capacity, which was usually more promising than practice.
Nowadays, their former advice entities after mergers, acquisitions, and rejections are hardly recognizable. Accenture broke away from Arthur Andersen, who has disappeared, thanks to Enron. KPMG has become the gate point. Ernst & Young, himself a combined operation, withdrew with Cap Gemini to become CGE & Y and then changed his name to simple Capgemini. PWC Consulting, a PricewaterhouseCoopers unit (who himself was the product of a merger between Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse), was taken over by IBM (after an attempt to purchase by Hewlett-Packard) and has since disappeared as much as an entity. Deloitte Consulting, a product of another merger and acquisition, retains its business identity but is legally a separate LLC entity.
The global business model consists of a hierarchical pyramidal organization, depending on generating sales by a relatively low number of murderers to offer invoice hours for a large number of analysts and managers. An in-depth methodology and process development are supposed to be able to tackle relatively inexperienced consultants in a coherent way.
This model was compared with the introduction of brilliant children’s buses, both indoctrinated in the corporate culture and binders full of descriptions and process solutions. They must then hope to meet a customer who asks the right questions.
Little of these companies were ready to bring more experienced, more experienced, more independent, and more expensive professionals. It is not so much an age problem as a problem with the business models, encouraged by cultural compliance.
Some independent consultants have become mega companies. Some of the first leaders, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, continue to bloom, while others fell or sold in difficult times.


A handful of consultancy firms focused on the strategy but followed various instructions. Some have tried tactical implementations and they succeed in solving operational problems with strategic implications. Others have focused on taking share positions and business activities management. Different entities have focused on performance standards, productivity, and cost reduction. Some pioneers survive, but hardly.
Their business model was usually based on the dedication of entrepreneurs, who have no payment as soon as they have ended their missions. The permanent setting includes successful sellers with a handful of senior executives.
There were dozens of these companies, of whom the majority emerged. One of the largest was United Research, which fell off the map. But some have survived. The Standards and the Deaeration Council are based on H.B. For example, Maynard’s methods remain active in the world of work measurement.
In the beginning, some consultants focused on operations such as production and logistics. A leader in the movement has survived an unfortunate acquisition and recovered as a broad world council. Others, some of which have specialized in physical distribution, have disappeared.


Small and medium-sized medium-size consultations are usually built on a limited but deep functional experience. They come and go, but some have remarkable power. Too much to quote here, they can be local, national, or worldwide on the cover. They can be franchises, or they are real companies. They can participate in “Stringers” in different places and distribute business cards to anyone with a costume and a laptop. Or they can develop more organic.
Some achieve a greater functional size thanks to work partners with other consultants and performing geographical coverage with multinational alliances.
They can follow the hierarchical organizational model, or they can be more spotted in partnerships with a more practical involvement of the senior partner Council.
The field of the supply chain has generated many of these operations, and many of them offer profitable and lasting results. Some are very specialized, while others offer a wide range of strategy services for delivery, planning and implementation chain.


Then the only practitioners come. The range of services they offer is great; They cover everything, from Fre-Bill audits to the strategies of the supply chain.
Solos lead the range of internationally renowned specialists with prematurely retired managers to work drunk. These subcategories do not exclude each other.
Here is an indication: if the expression “& Associates” appears in the name of the company, it is a certain sign that the consultant is flying solo. Unlike aviation, there are no necessary lessons and there are no certifications and considerable license processes. The only obstacle to access to the council market is a failure of the nerve.
There are many excellent one-man and one-wife stores. For the right type of problem, they can often offer a target solution for the right price. The best of them acknowledge their limits, and they are brilliant to engage other specialists to work on solving fundamental problems.
The worst of them believe that their own press savings. Because of their egos, they hesitate to bring people smarter than them to give the correct answers.
The unemployed recently make the image considerably complicated. They generally have no training and a little real experience to be a consultant. They generally have no idea how to praise services or what is involved in the scope and implementation of analyzes and development of solutions. They often do not understand the subtleties of communication, relationships with customers, and sales.


Many respected academics practice advice on an institutional or private base. Often their advice includes a research component led by a technical solution for a specific problem.
Sometimes they are able to build and investigate study and research teams to observe and assess operational problems and practices. Other times they were able to conduct and analyze industrial surveys. Sometimes they are called expert witnesses in dispute.
There are times when the right approach is a problem to building a team with academic and advisory components. In this way, there is an effective mixture of esoteric and practical solutions.


Reverse management specialists are not really consultancy companies, although they use many advice techniques in their Blitzkriegs in the Cascades. Two well-known managers in the field have high management with in-depth history in advice for cost management. They also manage organic or affiliated investment partnerships.
Apart from the skills, what is important in an advisory relationship is “chemistry”, style, and comfort.
From a technical point of view, support for disputes is not really in the direction of management. But many very senior consultants offer support for the dispute. This service usually exists to contribute to expert witnesses for a case that can take the form of witnesses to the process, deposits, or written summaries of observations and conclusions.
The other roles, which can get closer to the consultation, include current education for lawyers, cooperation in the field of case strategy, preparation of depots for lawyers or deposits, and evidence material development offers.
It is quite common that in one case the opposite experts are easily accessible with each other and with their likely expert positions. Real professionals are those who refuse the role of a lucrative expert when they are not convinced of the benefits of the case or if negotiated regulations would be both feasible and a clearly better solution for all parties.


For whatever reason, there is a certain concept that all commercial services must be regarded as a consultant. In our opinion it is ridiculous. Organizations whose sources of income come from implementation services – whether it concerns storage or management of IT services – are also not really consultants.
The Computer Externalization Company, EDS, The source of the billions of H. Ross Perot has ventured into the Operational Council by acquisition. The Accenture Company presents an interesting merger of the delivery of services and advice. Real estate companies that design the network makes certain people uncomfortable, and package transport companies that want to design supply chains, raise certain renowned problems. LSPs are often guilty of providing what they call advice solutions as part of their commercial activities.
We have nothing against one of them. But at some point the solutions they offer will probably look at their offers for consumer services, right?
Although there have been cases of suppliers who invoice real money to recommend their own products, it is possible for a service provider to give honest and independent advice. Here is the test: describes and offers the “consultant” competing for alternatives for his own service?


There are many reasons to use consultants. Typical for me:
• n lack of analysis and implementation of reducing internal resources
• Lack of specific internal experience
• New geographical operations
• New functional responsibilities
• Need an independent investigation of operations, decisions and/or alternatives
• Solutions apart from the internal political dynamics
• desire for the synthesis of multiple industrial and functional experiences
• Availability of experience with analytical or decision support tools
• Exhibition to experience with service providers
• Experience with specific technological solutions – software, hardware or both
• Knowledge and access to best practices
• Creativity goat in the development of solutions


Until now, these points may apply to any element of the operations of an organization. How do they apply specifically to the management of the Supply Chain?
The management of the supply chain is not unique; It can benefit from tactics and techniques that are used in all types of commercial activities. But there are specific examples within the community of the Supply Chain that illustrate areas where honest management consultants can add an authentic value:
• Creation of a conceptual design of the Supply Chain
• Design a physical distribution network
• Creation of supply chain strategies for service and performance
• Performance and practical diagnostics, including for overall supply chain and for specific components (transport, storage, delivery and purchase, production integration, information technology, suppliers, and customer relationships)
• Disputes support for an applicant or a defendant
• Analysis and implementation of targeted or targeted costs
• Analysis and improvement of transport management
• Installation location, renovation and upgrading and/or improving the activities
• Evaluation, selection, and implementation of software
• Training and training in concepts and components of Supply Chain Management
• Design, implementation, and analysis of measures
• Programs for supplier management
• Process design and banned
• Reasonable dedication to other studies
• Revenue management programs
The list can be longer, but you have the idea. The trick is to find the right consultant for the right problem.


What is important in an advisory relationship? Apart from skills, there are problems with “chemistry”, style, and comfort. As a rule, you work with the consultant (s) for a while. If there is a style delay, the tolerance wears out very quickly.
If your organization is culturally united with a Megafirm approach, it is generally not necessary to open the call for tenders for many solo practitioners. On the other hand, if the organization is self-confident and safe and wants to reduce the fog to obtain the answer, the solo practitioner can be beautifully effective in terms of time and costs.
If the problem has a certain size or complexity, a small or medium-sized company or a team of solo practitioners can be the right way to follow.
Competence can be evaluated on the basis of references and experience. Experience means that people who are really working have really, practical, not done an endless list of organizational qualifications.
There are a few extra points. If you assess the possibilities, search for a good listener, the person who is more interested in you and your company than through his own references. Go one step further. Try to find whether it is comfortable to leave the script when an unexpected subject appears.
Finally, be sensitive to the feeling of the context of the consultant, for the self-assured capacity to settle a specific solution in a suitable framework for process design, information technologies, best class practices, planning and activities integrated, and business strategies. Not that every problem must analyze the entire universe before a solution can be considered. However, a good consultant can articulate when and to what extent these elements can be important.
How do you find consultants in the first place? Use folders to start with. The Council of Professionals for the Management of the Supply Chain (CSCMP) has one, but it is incomplete. Talking with colleagues from the industry or networks in your professional community can also be a good way to discover advisory professionals.
Consult the internet, which generates consultation contacts a few years ago at an interest-free level. Everyone who is worth something for a website. However, make sure that you can concentrate on the content of the website instead of the design of the Gee-Whiz site and the graphic effects.


The turnover in the field of advice is incredible. The average career of the council is less than three years. It is a difficult lifestyle: difficult for the individual, more difficult for families.
Although slowness can maintain larger companies for difficult times or market changes, these same companies will not hesitate to reduce or re-use people. However, the Solo practitioner is confronted with almost no obstacle to failure and contributes vigorously to the working speed of the profession. He or she may have no financial resources to see things or not have the history to move with market requirements. The Solo practitioner can no longer have travel and workload factors that meet almost all management consultants at some point.
There are people who advise a life career. Most bounce from one company to another, a few years here and a few years there. Those who are with small prosperous companies usually stay in the game longer. Very, very little determines a long career in an organization. So the chances are that the person you really like the last time you hired a consultant is no longer in the same organization or even in the game.


No matter how much we believe in the value and potential efficiency of consultants in the construction and improvement of the excellence of the supply chain, this can be exaggerated. A normal company does not need consultants to answer any questions. And he may not need a large number of them if the consultant is inclined to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of internal teams.
It’s a bit like people on radio shows who answer their own questions before the call. The solution is often in the company and may need a little survey and control to gain access to the right path.
Note from the publisher: one of the authors is a single practitioner and the other works in a small/medium consultancy; The two are olds of one of the mega companies.
Fundamental of the Supply Chain Management: An essential guide for the 21st century can be purchased for the US $ 69 at DC Velocity Books. For more information, go to