Building an Effective Supply Chain Relationship

The aim of the Rail Supply Group is simple yet effective - “The Rail Supply Group aims to strengthen the capability and competitiveness of the UK rail supply chain to grow business at home and abroad.” With all of the focus recently around the RSG, especially at this year’s industry events, I began to think about what it is that makes our relationships in the industry so substantial. Essentially it all comes down to communication.

It will come as no surprise that the most efficient and successful assignments that we work on are driven by having a trust based relationship with our clients, one which is developed by two way communication and which allows us to act as trusted advisers throughout. But how can we make sure that all of our relationships and assignments are carried out in this way?

Truthfully, it is almost impossible to have these strong relationships 100% of the time. There will always be ‘bumps along the road’, a client and/or supplier who does not communicate effectively or worst of all, a lack of facing up to the fact that things aren’t going as smoothly as everyone hoped and expected that they would do. Most of the problems that we face are relatively easily remedied by speaking to our clients, identifying the issues and finding solutions to these problems, it sounds simple, but is this the case with your supply chain currently?

The easiest thing to do is to ignore the problems, continue the way things are and hope that the relationships naturally improve, sometimes they might. But ask yourself the question, how much money, time and confidence do you lose by maintaining the same ineffective group of suppliers? Putting together a new supply chain can be timely, stressful and frustrating, however think of the long-term view. We have been partnering with some of our clients for well over two years and we know they have the confidence in our ability to deliver time after time, which has delivered fantastic shortlists and added a lot of value to them. Developing a good relationship with a preferred supplier network can be the best thing for any organisation and ensure smooth operations and assignments for many years to come, something which is imperative in the Rail and Transportation industries as we move into exciting new times.