3 Key Takeaways from the Latest Webinar: How to build strong supplier experience?

Professor Jukka Vesalainen from the University of Vaasa and CMO Jarl Matti Anttila from Jakamo had a dialogue on how to build a strong supplier experience. If you were not able to participate in the webinar, please find the recording of the whole dialogue from Jakamo’s YouTube Channel. These are the 3 key takeaways from the dialogue.

Improve your supply chain transparency

In supply chain literature, you can find five different types of transparencies: 1) Cost and Price transparency, 2) Logistics transparency, 3) Organisational transparency, 4) Technological transparency and 5) Strategic transparency.

To gain supplier experience, it is important to understand the means how to improve all five types of transparency towards a reasonable level. Jukka Vesalainen highlighted the importance of the relational target setting. It’s important for both parties – customer and supplier – to have a common understanding of the present situation. When both parties recognize the gaps, it shows the development needs and allows a mutual target setting for the relationship. Most importantly, a transparent future state definition of relationship means that you have a common strategy to go. It makes the relationship as a living thing – as an object for the development.

As a summary, choose your most important suppliers and establish a common strategy with them including the KPIs for both parties, quality measures and behaviour codes. In strategic relationships, openness and transparency ensure that the customer gets the best possible service from the supplier.

Use different styles of rhetoric

According to the studies, there exists three possible rhetorical ways how purchaser can approach the supplier and communicate in business relationship:

  1. Relational rhetoric is concentrating on common problem solving and learning
  2. Market-based rhetoric is concentrating on threatening that other vendor in the market can replace you
  3. Hierarchical rhetoric is concentrating on threatening that the sanctions defined in the contract should be taken in use

Actually, it’s possible to behave in four different ways. First one is the neutral way which doesn’t use any of the rhetoric approaches mentioned. The second way is to use only the relational rhetoric. The third way is to concentrate only on threats and use both market and hierarchical rhetoric. The fourth way and the most effective way is the hybrid one, the purchaser can utilize all three approaches, choosing the style, each one in the right situations. The way how people speak and communicate with each other has a big importance on motivation and commitment

Good interaction should be coordinated

Especially in partnership types of relationship, quite many people are in a contact with each other and the interaction is multifaceted. Therefore, it’s challenging to coordinate the meanings and ideas of all individuals. Luckily, we have new technology as platforms which can help companies to coordinate the interaction also in the supply chain. A very good example of uncoordinated interaction is emailing. It’s a maximum of uncoordinated interaction between companies.

Excellent interaction covers also a development orientation. You should not be happy only to handle operational and daily routines. You should also remember the developmental side and interact on what can we do better.