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Monday, 29 April 2013

Do your suppliers sleep at night?

ISM - Institute for Supply Management
I'm vicariously following the tweets from #ISM2013 and was inspired by this tweet:

RT @jenniferwoofter: Bechtel VP: "I pick suppliers that want to sleep at night. Are you one of those?" #ism2013

I love it - so many different ways to think about that statement. Here's where it took me ...

1. How differently procurement professionals would behave if we set that as a metric. I don't mean set it as a measure for suppliers. Set is as a measure for us - to ensure our behaviours don't give our suppliers sleepless nights. You know the sorts of things:
  • Last minute tenders requiring immediate response when we've been working on it for 3 months
  • A call at 17:30 saying I need this response by 0800 in the morning when we don't
  • Lack of response to issues raised by them 
  • Insufficient resources to comply with our contratural obligations
2. The well being aspects of this. Yes there will always be emergencies that give everyone sleepless nights. But we all need our sleep - not least because adequate sleep (along with other healthy behaviours but that's for another blog) allow us to perform at our best, make better decisions, react to stress and handle challenges better. What's there not to like about that?

In conclusion ensuring we minimise the sleepless nights we give our suppliers will ensure they are there when we need them making the the right decisions on our behalf. 

Of course the statement may have been made in a totally different context - which emphasises the need for tweets to convey the meaning for others replying on the tweet for the sound bite. (For anyone vicariously following or attending a conference and wanting to engage on twitter you might like my blog on how to get the most from twitter at conferences. It's a summary of the hints and tips picked up having followed a number of conferences vicariously and noticing what makes a positive difference.)

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring action that allows your suppliers to sleep at night

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