A Lesson in Laundry … And Business
Years ago, when I was in middle school, my mother taught me how to do my laundry. From separating clothes, knowing how much detergent to put in, when to wash in cold water vs. hot … all the way to drying and finally hanging the clothes back up. I suppose it took a few lessons before I completely got it – and I suspect you may have a similar story.
On my first shirt plucked from the dryer, I stretched the neckline such that hangar would fit through the neck. My mother stopped me and said, “The hangar goes through the bottom of the shirt up to the top and through the neckline. This prevents the neckline of your shirt from becoming stretched.” Of course, I replied that was a lot more work than my method – and hey, the shirt was still clean! To this day, I remember the point she made. She said that over time the shirt neckline would deteriorate and lose its ability to bounce back. She advised me that anything worth doing was worth doing right – even if it took a little more time. A life lesson … and then some.
Is it Any Different in Business?
At Alleon Group we work with a lot of clients optimizing their business processes. Sometimes this involves outsourcing to a strategic partner in the marketplace. Organizations often invest significantly in selecting new strategic partners. However, that investment and the return can greatly diminish if there is not a well-established plan to manage the supplier moving forward. The real value comes in managing the on-going partnership. The degree to which you engage in managing your partnerships can directly impact the level of performance and savings identified in the sourcing process.
Following a sourcing initiative to select a strategic partner, one of three outcomes is likely to occur:
- No Formal Management – with no formal management process, the impact on the program sourced can be eroded over time – often within 18 months.
- Performance Management – in some cases, minimal performance management may yield results that are status quo, or not completely optimized to the program sourced.
- Supplier Relationship Management – a formal approach to managing the supplier relationship leads to expected performance, and more, of the program sourced.
Surprisingly many companies do not invest in a formal partnership management program – and the intended results erode well before expected. In other instances, there may be limited management – but not completely address contractual compliance through measured audits, optimized improvements over time or changing business requirements.
At Alleon Group, we provide a Supplier Relationship Management program that ensures the partners you select meet your business needs not just from day one … but through the growth and maturation of the relationship. As a third-party to the relationship, this ensures you and your selected partner have the absolute best results from your partnership.
Just like the lesson in laundry, if after the selection process you don’t invest in a formal Supplier Relationship Management program, the partnership will deteriorate and lose its ability to bounce back. Anything worth doing is worth doing right! Oh, and I still hang my shirts by inserting the hangar from the bottom.
Let me know how we can help ensure you get the most from your supplier relationships.