Monday, 18 February 2013

Is anyone playing horsey with your Supply Chain?


With recent sorry stories in the UK and European media about adulterated beef containing Horsemeat, we return to the theme of people in the Supply Chain (see "People make Supply Chains" in this blog).

Do you trust your Suppliers?  If you don't then you have a problem, but first of all what do I expect from a trustworthy supplier? First on the list is that they send you what they have promised. I also expect honesty from them when they have problems affecting that supply. Does that mean they should tell me about every little twist and turn in their business or with their suppliers? No.

What you pay a supplier for is to manage those twists and turns, to solve their own problems. If you get involved then you might as well ask for a discount! However there is a fine line in solving your own problems and being up front with your customer when you have a serious supply issue.

In the last few weeks one if my clients has had to deal with one of their Suppliers that isn't delivering for them. I was involved, and my biggest problem was that I didn 't trust what they told us, the honesty had gone!

The Pharma industry has instituted Vendor Assurance, site audits and certificates to confirm supply identity. This is good and necessary, like self-inspections and keeping good fences with neighbours. But if you look in the eye of your supplier and don't trust them, that's the time to check for the Horse DNA!
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