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The Trust Factor

Trust hasn’t always been an element in supplier relationships; all too often buyers have been encouraged to carry a big stick and get tough with suppliers to get the best price—no matter the cost.
By Bob Trebilcock
May 3, 2017

At some point, you’ve probably been on a company retreat and participated in a team-building exercise where you were urged to close your eyes and fall backward. While you may have had a knot in your stomach as you gave up on gravity, you trusted that your team mate would be there to catch you before you hit the ground. Indeed, trust in your co-workers is an essential element to moving a company’s goals forward.

Trust hasn’t always been an element in supplier relationships; all too often buyers have been encouraged to carry a big stick and get tough with suppliers to get the best price—no matter the cost.

That approach to procurement is beginning to change. Manufacturers like GM are learning that in today’s environment, developing a trusting, culturally-aligned relationship with suppliers is crucial to gaining access to the new technologies and innovations that win in the marketplace before the competition. Those close-knit relationships can also lead to better financial performance. In this issue of Supply Chain Management Review, GM describes how it launched a Strategic Supplier Engagement initiative that is delivering results on both fronts.

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      Download Article PDF

At some point, you’ve probably been on a company retreat and participated in a team-building exercise where you were urged to close your eyes and fall backward. While you may have had a knot in your stomach as you gave up on gravity, you trusted that your team mate would be there to catch you before you hit the ground. Indeed, trust in your co-workers is an essential element to moving a company’s goals forward.

Trust hasn’t always been an element in supplier relationships; all too often buyers have been encouraged to carry a big stick and get tough with suppliers to get the best price—no matter the cost.

That approach to procurement is beginning to change. Manufacturers like GM are learning that in today’s environment, developing a trusting, culturally-aligned relationship with suppliers is crucial to gaining access to the new technologies and innovations that win in the marketplace before the competition. Those close-knit relationships can also lead to better financial performance. In this issue of Supply Chain Management Review, GM describes how it launched a Strategic Supplier Engagement initiative that is delivering results on both fronts.

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

About the Author

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Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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