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An Open Letter From Clients to Supply Chain Vendors

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The following satire represents common frustrations clients have with supply chain vendors. (Not us, of course. Our clients love working with us!) If you’re a purchasing agent, you can most likely relate.)

Dear Supply Chain Vendors,

It’s time we have a chat; we need to re-define our business relationship. We’ve been together for a while now, but that doesn’t mean our sales partnership is meant to last.

If you want to keep working with us, then we suggest that you step up your game. Why?

Because we have options. You aren’t the only vendor who can meet our needs. We (as business owners, strategic planners and purchasing agents) get approached all the time by salespeople. Sure, it’s risky to take a chance with a new vendor, but we think it’s a gamble worth taking.

As we’ve stepped back and evaluated our client relationships, here are a few reasons you’re on the chopping block:

Quality

We shouldn’t have to put up with lousy work. Kindly (and correctly) do the work that we asked you to do the first time, and we won’t have any problems. Is that too much to ask? We have deadlines to meet, so we don’t have time for you to correct your mistakes.

Time

You argue that you need longer lead times. But we need a company that has flexibility. We don’t expect you to perform miracles; however, we’d like to think that you might be willing to at least try to make time for our last-minute projects and offer us grace if we have changes. After all, they are inevitable in business.

Capacity

We want to partner with companies that can grow with us, ones that can mature with our enterprise and bring our future innovations to life. If we’re met with “We can’t…” or “We don’t know how to…” then we’re going to scream. We want comrades that can keep up!

Cost

We understand raising prices with inflation. But we also better be seeing quality for that cost. (See point #1.) If we analyze the opportunity cost for our relationship, does that make you want to squirm? Enough said.

Supply

We need you to supply us what we need when we need it. If you can’t do that, then you’re keeping us from meeting our goals and performing at our peak potential. We can’t afford to lose capital because of your supply chain disruptions.

We don’t have time to keep pouring into maintaining our alliance; we simply don’t see a future together, so we think it’s time we part ways.

Please don’t take our break up personally. It’s not you…it’s us. Ultimately, it’s for the health of our company, which obviously needs to come first.

Frustratedly,

Your Client

Do you have similar headaches with your vendors? Are you sick of tolerating some of your business partners? These type of letters don’t have to exist. There IS a better way.