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Trusting Supplier Relationships

Posted 4/7/2020

This is a personal shout out and thank-you to our colleagues engaged in sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their clients and organizations. That you are working hard in untenable circumstances is, I think an understatement.

You are experiencing challenges, successes and frustrations in your work. It is important that we all learn from this experience. Please share when you are able.


It is certain that the unexpected will happen, and supply chains will be stressed. While impossible to plan for every situation, we can plan for most. We can ask ourselves what if X happens, what will our requirements be? Each organization will have different responsibilities and each organization can plan to work together to mitigate the effects of X event.

Relationship trust is built with common experience. Supply managers can and should understand the risk factors of their supply chains beyond the contracted vendor. We can share our concerns and successes with our vendors to strengthen our supply chains. Similarly, before X happens, we can plan to coordinate how we assist others and how they can assist our organization. In summary, we create common experience through collaborative performance reviews and inter organizational planning.

The importance of creating and having trusting supply relationships that exceed contracted terms to maintain existing supply chains is never more important than now when those chains are stressed to the point of disruption.

Thank-you again and stay safe.