RECESSION – it’s official now. It seems we had better get used to using the “R” word as the crisis which originated such a short time ago in the financial sector quickly impacts on the whole economy.
The north-east Scottish economy is no longer in a protective bubble of high oil prices and there are early signs that this is already putting pressure on service-company margins in some areas.
The speed of this unwelcome downturn is startling. Only last year Amec launched a new initiative called “12 steps to become a great customer”.
Amec’s supply-chain management team published a booklet which noted, accurately at the time, that it was “in a market characterised by shortages and failure of supply where the best sellers are becoming more choosy about who they do business with and on what terms”.
This seller’s market is now under threat but, nevertheless, the 12 steps Amec outlined still make good business sense.
Indeed, they are equally relevant to the SME that can adapt some of these steps as a response to the current market challenges and become a “great supplier”.
For example, Step 12 – dare to be different (unique selling point); Step 10 – co-operate (teamwork), and Step 9 – quality (pride in your work).
Other steps include industry initiatives and feedback and focus on the fact that high-performing organisations have an appetite for knowledge and self-awareness.
FPAL Performance Feedback is at the heart of this and allows two-way feedback between supplier and buyer in an open and transparent manner.
Any SME would agree that a great customer pays his bills on time, and this is addressed in some timely improvements to the FPAL Purchaser Performance Report form, which is about to be introduced.
Suppliers will be able to comment on whether their customer is adhering to the “payment in 30 days” undertaking, which forms part of the Supply Chain Code of Practice. How many “great customers” do you have?
Visit www.fpal.com for further information