Supplier Relationship Management – COVID-19
As many are trying to determine how best to operate amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, most businesses are internally focused. Issues top of mind include sustaining revenue, operating in remote environments, delivering goods and services, and ensuring there is a path to weather this storm. It leaves me wondering, how many are thinking about the extended supply chain critical to operate – and the issues strategic partners are facing at the same time?
- Do your Strategic Partners have a plan to address COVID-19? – We may all assume that because we are working through our own issues related to COVID-19, that our strategic partners are tracking at the same pace, or even quicker. But, many, whether small business or large partners, may be struggling to do business differently. What do you know about how they are managing through this crisis? And, at a detailed level?
- Have you established a Communication Plan with your most Strategic Partners? – If you have not already, now is the time to establish routine update conference/video meetings to review the changing environment and plans to address accordingly. This includes openly sharing what your company is doing as well as your strategic partner.
- Do your Strategic Partners have a Business Continuity Plan? – Do you know if your Strategic Partner has a Business Continuity Plan? Different than a Disaster Recovery Plan, a Business Continuity Plan addresses operational interruptions as opposed to a catastrophic occurrence (i.e. hurricane). If they do, are you aware if they have deployed part or all of the plan? How up to date is the plan – and how often has it been tested in anticipation of what we are experiencing right now? If they don’t have one, or it is outdated – it’s not too late to create one.
- Is there a Back-up/Alternative Solution? – Have you evaluated back-up or alternative solutions to the needs your current partners provide? If the answer is no (in part or all), it is not too late to seek out alternative or additional partners. Even in this time of uncertainty, businesses are ready and willing to provide products and services. It is the essence of survival.
- Have you evaluated the “Must-Haves” vs. “Nice-to-Haves” – We have all looked at certain things we do as part of our daily routine, and asked, “Why are we doing this?” As busy as you may be with redirecting the operating environment of your business, this may actually be the best time to evaluate the things that are absolutely necessary to run the operation vs. those things that if they went away (either temporarily or maybe even permanently), no one would notice.
At Alleon Group, we help companies with Strategic Supplier Relationship Management by creating value streams that ensure your strategic partners effectively address business requirements, whether routine or in times of uncertainly. While most associate Supplier Relationship Management with cost reduction (and, it has a level of importance), the leading value streams are risk mitigation, collaborative innovation and program performance. These leading value streams are intended to address situations just like COVID-19. Let us know how Alleon Group can help your company through one of the most tested times in the world – by ensuring you have the required plan and strength from your most trusted strategic partners.