Is Engagement the Missing Link?

“We often talk about early engagement with our employees and our customers, but do we pay enough attention to our supply chain partners and engage them from the start?

It could be said that there are two things we, as an industry need to focus on more.

Firstly, we must all work to build trusted relationships and be able to have honest, open and sometimes, challenging conversations.  Engagement is the name of the game here.

Secondly, the need for all supply chain partners to engage early, involve customers at the start of contracts to get the best project outcomes for everyone involved.

Hopefully its not just about competitive prices but more about the valued working relationships, visible and continued work stream and fair trading conditions which comes from trust and honesty- the hardest thing to build, but the quickest thing to lose.

If our supply chain partners mean more to us than just buying a service, and we value their specialist skills, we must ensure we are engaging them at the earliest opportunity. We must ask ourselves, do we deeply understand their needs and aspirations enough to ensure that we are delivering the very best outcomes for all.

Does the industry need to look at the reward culture? And does this need to take the form of a bonus style, rather than a penalty style?-  If it doesn’t already.

If so, let’s work to build it into contracts early on and build in separate KPI’s into their delivery.

The thinking is that if we get this right at the beginning of the process, we could evaluate how much time and money we have saved our customer and ourselves at the end of a contract. And importantly, what value we have added.”

Mike Todd is the Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.