A truly great supply chain partner is one who knows precisely which ingredients we need to make our operations successful — and those we can skip.
Some partners can tell us, for instance, what technologies we need to deploy, when to implement and how to upgrade.
Others can advise who to contract for manufacturing and transportation, where to source parts and raw materials — or how to dispose of tainted or defective goods. They can help us finance supply chain operations, mitigate risk and ultimately bring together these disparate components to streamline our businesses.
The interconnected nature of business today means leaders have to be careful when choosing each partner. Modern supply chains often resemble more of a web than a chain, and with so many partners involved — often in a single transaction — mutual trust and reliability are key. Relationships of any real vintage endure only when these qualities are baked in from the start.
Success is in sight, and probably guaranteed, when you know a partner’s word is good: that they mean what they say and deliver on their promises. The best make streamlining your business look effortless. A pinch of this, a pinch of that — and voila!
Each year, SupplyChainBrain readers tell us about thousands of these great partners, and we publish the top 100 most-nominated — along with select case studies. Here, companies can express their appreciation for their partners in logistics, technology or some other area of supply chain management.
This year, we received nominations for supply chain solutions companies of all sizes and industries — who not only solved real-world issues, but exceeded their contractual obligations. Many submissions expressed gratitude for partners that allowed companies to focus on core efforts. Results included new business gains, increased financial savings, improved operational efficiencies and more.
In the testimonials below, anonymous (and verified) leaders in supply chain management express more of what makes their partners great.
What Must a Partner Bring?
- Reliability. If your word isn’t good, neither is your business model.
- Excellence. Second-best is second-rate.
- Value. Is your partner bringing the same-old, same-old that everybody else offers?
- Expertise. Your partner needs to know your business inside and out.
- Problem-solving skills. Is your partner looking to you for answers or is he or she providing them?
- Continuous improvement. Your partner must never stop learning.
- Support. After the sale or implementation, can you find your partner for support?
- Positive attitude. If your partner doesn’t have a “can-do” attitude, you need a new partner.
- Global reach. Stay-at-home partners should stay at home.
- Strong leadership. Is your partner reading the manual on leadership — or writing one?
Click here to continue reading this article and to see Smart Gladiator in the list.