When hearing the words “reward and recognition”, most people only think of how this links to their employees. The concept of reward and recognition is much more widely applicable in business and in life. One area for example, that a lot of people overlook, is the powerful impact that reward and recognition could have if it is used to instil excellence in their Supply Chain.
To manage your Supply Chain effectively, you also have to manage your suppliers effectively. Although you, as a paying customer, have the right to certain expectations, you will most likely find that in Supply Chain the illusion of power is just that – an illusion. Yes you can demand that your supplier work overtime for your order this weekend, but your supplier can demand that you pay a premium for the associated overtime. Good relationships with your suppliers are possible despite having high standards, as long as you remain fair.
Here are a few tips on how you can use reward and recognition to instil excellence in your Supply Chain:
Have objective measurements in place. These should reflect what is important to your business. Your supplier should know what they will be measured on. The results can be used to issue award certificates to your suppliers. It can even be displayed in your reception area or your company newsletters so that others can see it as well. Do not only recognize end results, but also significant improvement made. Tracking performance is only sensible if it is used to drive decisions and actions. Take time to review the results of the measures with your suppliers to identify opportunities for improvement and agree on how you can support them better to serve you better.
- Take the time to say “Thank You”
Operational pressures often place such severe demands on our time that we rush off to the next task or crisis before taking the time to recognize good service. Make a conscious effort to say “Thank You” and not only directly to the individual who provided you with the exceptional service, but also to their supervisor or manager.
- Pay them on time
Make sure that you pay your suppliers on time – or even better, pay them early when appropriate!
- Pro-actively promote and refer them
It will cost you very little (if anything) to write a letter of recommendation for your supplier. You can also recommend them via your social media channels or website and send other potential customers their way if you believe that your supplier provides you with exceptional service.
Invest time with your suppliers to get to know their businesses better. This will help you to identify opportunities where you can work together towards a win-win outcome and share your knowledge and experience with them to support them in their journey to continuously improve.
Remember that your Supply Chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Reward and recognition (if used correctly) can be pivotal in assisting you to strengthen your partnership purchasing initiatives and instil excellence in your Supply Chain.
Click the link below to view the complete A2C Newsflash Volume 2 Issue 37 – How to use reward and recognition to instil excellence in your Supply Chain