By John Catling, CEO of FMG
There are a number of ways of achieving better business through better relationships, but this always has to start with listening.
Effective supplier management is no exception, and a relationship where all parties understand the needs and objectives of the others is key.
With potentially competing factors at play, such as legal compliance, business performance and environmental targets to meet, it can be difficult to maintain a focus on a collaborative relationship.
In a best practice scenario, suppliers, intermediaries and clients must ensure that collaboration is a streamlined part of the process, rather than an additional effort.
Company bosses and fleet managers have 101 considerations and decisions to take on a daily basis. It’s vital that a supplier understands these time pressures, and works to alleviate them rather than put in place additional burdens. It’s understandable that businesses who haven’t worked with an outsourced supplier before might be nervous about any new relationship, but by working with a supplier that truly buys into your objective, the results can make a real difference to safety and your bottom line.
Data presents an opportunity for businesses to better manage their fleets. If you can’t measure it, you manage it, and having the right systems in place to manage and interpret this data is key to achieving business goals.
Honesty and transparency are the cornerstones of a good supplier relationship, and as such, the best relationships are those based on mutual respect and understanding.
Making changes can be daunting, especially across a large and diverse fleet of vehicles, which may have long entrenched procedures. Ultimately, businesses need to have good driving at the heart of the company ethos. Working together is key to minimising costs, reducing incidents, improving environmental performance and taking some of the pressures off managing vehicles.