Singing from the same hymn sheet: buyer-supplier alignment is key
March 18, 2020
Alex Basso
1 minute

Attempts by procurement organisations to collaborate with their suppliers are notoriously prone to failure. As many as half of all such projects collapse. Supplier collaboration is easy to say, not so easy to do.

The root of the failure is often very simple: the buyer’s strategy does not correspond with that of the supplier. The procuring organisation may have enlisted companies in its supply chain to join a collaborative, partnership relationship, but has failed to ensure that they are singing from the same hymn sheet.

The buyer’s key assumptions, data and performance indicators do not align with those of the supplier, resulting in confusion, misunderstandings, mismatched expectations and, ultimately, a parting of the ways.

Such failures not only mean wasted time and effort and missing out on the potential benefits to all involved. They also set a negative tone for future negotiations. It’s bad news all round.

Too often the buying organisation has not done its homework. It needs data on its suppliers to indicate their priorities and objectives. Without that kind of detailed information, there is little hope of understanding how lasting bonds can be forged.

It goes both ways: suppliers must have confidence in the people they are selling too. Here, also, the key is reliable, accurate data. The supplier must know where they stand if they are to enter into productive relationships with buyers.

This is the foundation on which that Holy Grail of successful procurement can be built: trust. When all sides have a full picture of what is required of them and feel confident it can be relied on, they can have trust in the other parties. True collaboration can then flourish.

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At Vizibl we believe accurate, complete data is essential to the challenge of making sure buyers’ and suppliers’ objectives are aligned. It is the bedrock on which constructive, profitable relationships are built.

Successful buyer-supplier alignment is essential in modern business. Vizibl makes it happen.

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