How do you score on the supplier four?
Over the last few years we’ve had some frenetic activity at The Preferred Supplier with our programmes and presentations, filming of buyers and coaching on tendering. But one thing has arisen a number of times.
I’ve been by asked many what I think are the essential attributes of a great supplier. I’m not talking skills, resources or facilities here but instead the spine or the core that gives form to the selected or differentiated supplier.
My suggestion to you is that the difference lies in the four core areas of CRIC – Committed, Resilient, Innovative and Compliant.
Here’s a brief overview of each of the 4 parts of CRIC. Read through and think how they apply to you and how you score with each of the four.
Committed is about a commitment to continuous improvement and the ability to be evidential about that improvement. Now, wrapped up in this is commitment to quality, commitment to consistency and commitment to customer service. It’s also about “keeping your promise to your customer” such as commitment to delivery on time. Far too many suppliers reckon they are committed to say quality because they have ISO qualification but forget that it is daily living that commitment that sets the excellent apart from the average. You can measure yourself and be evidential in your commitment by asking us about The Preferred Supplier balanced scorecard.
Resilience was something addressed by Nick Edgar, of IP Group who are fund managers, when speaking at our The Preferred Supplier event. Resilience is not totally internal, for example about your financial strength, but also external about resilience within your own supply chain and the market your serve. Start thinking, how strong and reliable are your suppliers because that’s what your customer is likely also thinking if they are to select you?
Innovative is to-day becoming an abused word! My friend, Charles Sellers, is an acclaimed expert on innovation and passionate about the need to start thinking just what is true innovation. When I talk about innovative actions he makes me think if it is truly innovative by asking which of these three things can be said about the innovation. Is it the same as, similar too or different than? I can’t stress how important innovation is in being the preferred supplier but, at the same time, it has to be true innovation.
Compliance is something far too many suppliers hope will go away – but it won’t! A recent CIPS survey showed that 54% of companies expect compliance demands to increase this coming year with only 2% thinking it will decline. But compliance is an all-embracing word. Compliance in what? It differs across company, organisation and sector but don’t ignore the essentials of inclusion, environmental and health and safety.
CRIC is my core four attributes or make-up of a selected or preferred supplier. Have I missed anything truly essential? How do you measure up to the four? Where is your biggest challenge?