Strategy on creating partnerships that bring value — product supply chain

Are you improving the value you deliver to your customers or not?

That is the question I ask myself, my teams, the meetings I attend, and the events I host. In the end, it is what we give that makes the difference. How this lens applies to life is simple — it applies to everything 100%

Give value to everyone without expectation

I don’t believe we should offer our time, expertise, products, and life with the expectation for something in return. I believe we should live in that process of creating these experiences, sharing these moments, and delivering delightful customer experiences.

To that end — I have been challenged with a recent project. The task of creating value, trust, and disproportional advantage across the full product stack. Specifically how are we optimized in our supply chain (software, open source, ODM, OEM, licensed, etc..) to maximize these points of performance and how are these benefits delivered to the customer.

This is an ongoing effort, but the framework and principles created I thought were insightful and helpful to others.

Commercial Value

Any improvements to our supply chain must benefit our customers, period, full stop. The scope and scale of customers that benefit is relative to every enterprise, but could include raising up underperforming segments; focused on market size; revenue; margin, and or ideally — where we are going!

Responsive to Events

The business world is constantly in flux. Markets shift, new products enter the field, borders move, security events occur, mergers occur, and so on. The bottom line, you need to build in a self improvement and reflection process. This should fit the speed and culture of your organization.

Meaningful

Control for controls sake. Legal for legals sake. The lack of respect and meaningful checks that occur in the marketplace is disappointing. This centers on a flywheel that has continually captured more and more security / quality checks without a pure tie in to the originating risk that created it, or the value it delivers to the end customer. There is also a naïveté that the controls designed guarantee the result expected — at some point variability emerges and we must be responsive.

An example is the implication that some computer chips from a certain vendor were infected with a malicious backdoor. The check that was found to detect it was through a heat detection within a specific range. Now, the odds of having that check in place for the chips in question (all to be safe) and to have THAT particular check within the detection range are very far removed.

The immensity of the controls that must also exist in that environment are without question immense and lead us into the next framework that demands care and consideration.

Terms and conditions

Your vendors and third party suppliers are your PARTNERS. The ambition is for you both to be successful, grow, give value, make a difference, and chase shared passions in the space you reside in at the moment. Building good contracts is an art, but these too demand care and attention. Not just that they are clear on terms but clear on intent. Caution must be made around seeking to encapsulate every event and scenario. Instead, establishing these partners to match, scale, and benefit from your processes is a superior path. While not possible for all due to your scale of purchase or the other business model, this is the right path. Contracts should set the standard but allow for response, adjustments to products, coordination of efforts, inspection, and continual enhancements around the operational programs.

Do more with less

You can be quite successful as partners and in the market by focusing on less. By being superior in specific spaces that distinguish and enhance your touch on the customer. This also leads to businesses reducing their supplier list and creation of software component libraries. Each excellent, but as those bonds of partnership increase, so must your intensity and care with each other be maintained. The best T&C with a vendor will do no good if you over extended their costs and they go out of business at your busiest season … and the business that has all the controls and obligations in place that your heart can imagine, will likely also be the one that prices you out of the market.

Balance, relevant, and value driven decisions are the winning combinations.

This relates to launching any new product or enterprise. It is written with an eye towards superior value created from your supply chain strategy and operational elements. Welcome thoughts and ideas.

Technologist, Researcher, Artist, Executive, Father, Author, Inventor, Speaker, and CrossFit...