We use a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors to identify suppliers that are strategic to your enterprise. Some of the characteristics we leverage include business criticality, future revenues, cross-enterprise impact switching cost and uniqueness.
Ensuring strategic suppliers have an “executive sponsor” at the C-Suite level improves accountability in discussing and resolving critical issues. It also indicates the importance of the relationship to the suppliers. In our experience, these measures have led to substantial benefits such as faster issue resolution and reduced product development timelines.
Apart from the C-Suite support, we assist organizations create a unique structure to manage their strategic suppliers on a day-to-day basis, through a combination of relationship owners and performance managers.
Initially, the goal with strategic suppliers should be pragmatic, centering on operational excellence. Once two sides build more confidence, and performance stabilizes, the goals can become more ambitious, such as those around enhancing client service or fueling innovation.