SUPPLIER CASE STUDY

Safe-guarding Supply Chain

Safe-guarding Supply Chain

ISSUE:
Our client is a significant prime in the UK Defence sector and spends around £1 billion a year with its UK suppliers, both large and small, sustaining some 10,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide. Mutually beneficial partnerships with its supply chain are a cornerstone in the delivery of the company’s strategy in the UK.

It was therefore crucial that they could rely on the long-term loyalty and commitment of suppliers by cultivating strong relationships built upon a solid understanding of their needs and requirements.

PROCESS:

Our client wanted to gain feedback from their key supply chain partners, to understand perceived strengths and weaknesses in the trading relationship, and identify opportunities to develop those essential business relationships further. We conducted the first stage of qualitative research to discuss the day-to-day trading relationship that suppliers had with our client. From this, we were able to ascertain the essential components of the working relationship from the perspective of the suppliers. We then constructed a survey comprising around twenty-five practices, which we sent to the top 100 suppliers to our client to measure supplier perceptions and gain feedback from them on how they found working with our client.

OUTCOME:
We were able to reassure our client that overall, suppliers felt that they had a strong working relationship with them. For example, our client was perceived to be open and honest, having clear processes, and showed strong communication and collaboration across all levels of their business. However, we were also able to highlight areas in which our client needed to improve supplier relationships. Subsequently, our client has been able to manage and cost more effectively any work that suppliers conduct outside of a contract, enabling them to utilise the expertise of suppliers and collaborate with them much better. Finally, a supplier segmentation exercise followed in which they are now more able to recognise and get closer to strategic suppliers.