One point is clear from our research: the people in sourcing and procurement can make or break the organization. The ability to work well with suppliers is one of the most fragile competencies in an organization. Finding strategies to sustain those relationships and maintain the human expertise through periods of organizational flux is critical. A solid education program is one of those key strategies.
Supplier relationships are particularly vulnerable during times of change in an organization. Things may be working great with a certain supplier, but then a few good people are transferred or leave the company. Suddenly the company has lost a lot of techniques and knowledge and key relationships between the firms, so then they have to start all over. Especially in big companies, people are constantly rotating through, making it a challenge to sustain working relationships.
Turnover and changes also happen frequently on the supplier side. New people, new business strategies and priorities, mergers and acquisitions happen. Then, all of a sudden a lot of key contacts at the supplier are gone.
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