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Trust: Coin of the Supply Chain Realm

If ever there was a time you want good relations with vendors, it’s now. The impact of the pandemic on the economy is presenting a tremendous challenge if not crisis to many businesses, opportunities to others. As businesses work to survive the storm of change brought on by COVID-19, it is critical they have supply partners they can trust.

“Money is the currency of transactions,” says Rachel Botsman, author of Who Can You Trust? “Trust is the currency of interactions.”

Studies have shown the importance and value of good supplier-customer relationships to success. A 2014 Gallup study was designed to help companies understand how to do it. Gallup identified five elements in gaining supplier engagement and commitment: clarity, simplicity, integrity, reciprocity and connectivity.

Clarity involves expectations of the two parties and open and honest communications. Simplicity is defined as being “easy to do business with.” Integrity means organizations can count on each doing what they say they will do, and when problems occur, working to resolve them fairly. Reciprocity means parties trade considerations with each other, it’s not one-way. Connectivity means they are set up well for easy exchange of information.

Those are the things suppliers want from customers and customers want from suppliers in regular times. But times like these prove those relationships. Trust is the real coin of the realm.

Those who have trusted relationships will find it easier (though not easy) to work through this time. And where relations with suppliers have been merely ‘fine,’ now is a time that they may be improved as you work through the challenges. Clarity, simplicity, integrity—these things demand and build trust.

The way you do business now will be remembered.

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