Survey reveals manufacturers place a high value on supplier trust
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) place a high value on trust in partner relationships, according to a recent survey by ETM Manufacturing.
According to the study, manufacturers place a high value on trust in partner relationships and there is a great deal of consistency in the characteristics that define a "trusted" partnership, and in the behaviors that can tear down trust even in long-standing relationships.
The results illustrate that OEMs have a very clear understanding of the value of trust in the supply chain, and a very clear set of definitions for how suppliers can build - and damage - trust:
- 72 percent of those surveyed rank trust in supplier relationships as very important
- Nearly 3 of 4 respondents said that the most critical attribute in establishing trust was a supplier's commitment to establishing metrics and milestones of success at the outset of a project
- 88 percent said that the single most damaging thing a supplier can do to trust is fail to report when a scheduled milestone slips
Other factors for building trust cited in the survey include understanding the customers' business and proactive problem solving. Behaviors that damage trust include a failure to meet expectations or promises and making changes without advising the customer.
Rob Olney, president of ETM Manufacturing sees trust as critical in successful supply chain partnerships. Olney, working with customers such as computing giant EMC2 Corporation and start-ups like solar mounting system leader, Panel Claw and American Innovation Research Corp., has identified a step-by-step process for earning, nurturing and repairing trust with customers.
"One compelling lesson from the past few years has been that lowest-cost suppliers that don't keep their promises can be very expensive partners if rework costs and schedule delays effect customer satisfaction scores and market penetration," said Olney.
"In an economy where there's little or no margin for late delivery or poor quality, trust in your partner is no longer a nice to have - it's a critical factor in competitive advantage," he continued.