Poor Communication = Poor Supplier Performance, Part I

Think of your favorite restaurant.

Why is it your favorite restaurant?

Probably because the food and service consistently meets or beats your expectations, right?

Well, imagine going into that restaurant one day.   You’re in a rush.  By the time the server approaches your table, you haven’t even had the chance to look at the menu.  You know if you say you need a few minutes, it will be at least five or 10 minutes before he returns.

So when he asks you if he may take your order, you say “Sure.  Just give me the special.”

The server writes your order on his tablet and disappears into the kitchen.  Fifteen minutes later, the server returns.  And right there on your placemat, he sets a big, heaping, steaming bowl of…

Dog food.

Let’s just say that your expectations weren’t exactly met this time.

How would you react?

Whose fault is it that your expectations weren’t met?

The restaurant’s (i.e., the supplier’s)?


Does it matter?

The bottom line is this:  there is a problem here.  And the problem won’t be solved in time to avoid a disruption.

And the problem certainly was preventable.  There was language used that wasn’t understood in exactly the same way by the two parties involved.  With just a little more time spent ensuring clarity, this bad experience could have been avoided.

Does this sound outlandish?

Does it sound like it has nothing to do with procurement?

Well, believe me, every single day buying organizations are being disappointed by their suppliers due to poor specifications.  Those organizations are being served their industries’ equivalent of dog food.

So this series of eight posts will focus on helping you avoid the supplier communication problems that cause you to receive your industry’s equivalent of dog food.

Bon appetit!

Still quiet here.sas

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