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Customer/Supplier Relationships exist internally and externally

by admin on September 12, 2007

When most business people think of the customer-supplier relationship, they think of you the customer buying from an external supplier or you the supplier producing goods and vending them to your external customer. This classic model is the cornerstone of business.

However, consider that external customers are never your only customers. Operations within your facility are also built on this model. Every department is a customer or supplier to another department in your facility. Every person in every department is a potential vendor or potential purchaser or receiver of goods and services from other departments. From classic examples of this process in a purely vendor-to-customer format within your business are:

  • Your stock room supplies your production personnel.
  • Your sales force supplies your production personnel.
  • Your marketing team supplies your sales force.
  • Your production personnel supplies your shipping department.
  • Your human resources department supplies all of your employees.
  • Your management supplies your department heads with guidance, budgets and ideas.
  • Your maintenance crew supplies your cleaning and repair needs throughout the facility.

There are many more examples, but you can now see how important even the simple vendor/customer relationship is to how your business works.

We’ve helped to make this relationship even easier to define and manage with our ECH206 “Measuring for Improvement” chart. This write-on/wipe-off chart is a simple way to define relationships between departments and delegate tasks for each team.

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