As a recruiter, I am continually surprised to hear about the range and scope of the relationships that exist when it comes to supplier relationships. At every level in the Supply Chain and Procurement profession, the management of these relationships is seen as vital to success.
Over the last few weeks, I have been asking the question - "Do you think there's a difference in the way you treat your suppliers in person, versus how to speak with them over the phone/via email?"
I've put together a select group of answers and advice from SC & P professionals below, which the interviewees have generously agreed to share. I thank them all for their participation.
It's exciting to see my clients succeed. I'm fortunate enough to recruit for some fantastic brands going through massive periods of accelerated growth. In the last six months I've assisted a number of businesses who are at the point of requiring a larger physical space, whether to accommodate their growing headcount, stock, or production operations.
For the SMEs I work with, their sense of company and brand identity is often closely tied to the physical space they were founded in. Even moving a few miles down the road has been a daunting prospect in terms of the potential impact on company culture. I've had it emphasised to me more than once that the first hire in a new office is a really important landmark, both in terms of maintaining an existing culture, and setting a precedent for future growth.
These office moves can put delays on recruitment plans, and generally distract from business-as-usual operations. It's common to hear about professionals working sixteen-hour days for fortnights at a time during relocations. Small problems like transferring the office phone number can become ongoing sagas, despite the best intentions of all parties involved. The strain often falls most notably on the Supply Chain and Procurement professionals, who are often in the unenviable position of being tasked to make sure the business doesn't shut down for too long, if at all.
The impact of commuting distances on staff can be a big strain, and is often more significant than people anticipate. An extra fifteen minutes on the road in the morning becomes over two hours a week that an employee isn't spending with their loved ones. If not properly addressed, this can prompt staff to move on.
The best success stories of office moves come from companies who get the whole business involved and invested in both the preparations and transfer. The move can transform into a powerful team bonding exercise. These businesses concede that short-term losses are sometimes necessary to make long-term gains, making everything - including recruitment - easier in the long-run.