Frequently, I am asked why my department is called Global Network Integration instead of Supply Chain Management. The use of the term ‘integration’ is essential to how we see our supplier network. Suppliers and the services they provide are interwoven into everything we do. Our suppliers are an on the ground representation of Lexicon Relocation. How they fit into our culture, and how we work with and treat each other is as important as the services they deliver.
For many companies, the supply chain is just another link, unfortunately, when that link fails, the chain breaks. At Lexicon, our suppliers are strongly woven into our service delivery like the strands of a rope. Everyone working together making the rope stronger and if a strand fails, the other strands are engaged and work together in tandem to save the day.
In my first year at Lexicon, I attended an industry conference in Stockholm. A Destination Service Provider I had known for years said to me, “I love working with your consultants.” Prior to joining Lexicon, I had never heard this statement from a supplier, so I asked her why. She responded, “They answer the phone or call back quickly, we don’t have to chase them.” Being treated as a valued part of the Lexicon team is as important to our suppliers as the volume of business a Relocation Management Company brings them.
I worked at an RMC when the term Supplier Relations was changed to Supply Chain Management. It was intended to convey a greater amount of rigor, and to reflect the terms that our clients (many in manufacturing) used. It became the standard term in Relocation but, I think in some ways that minimized the function our networks play in our success as organizations. Our networks are not engineered widgets reduced to their lowest cost to build, they are service experiences that must be blended seamlessly into the service delivery our counselors provide.
The best measurement of Supplier Network success comes from the results you achieve, not the name of your department. Lexicon’s 98% customer satisfaction is a testament to Lexicon Relocation and the Global Network with which we work. Based on a recent survey, 99% of our suppliers would recommend us as a client. This expression of confidence is a reflection of how well we have integrated our preferred network into Lexicon’s culture of teamwork, trust, integrity and commitment. Simply put, we treat our suppliers as we want them to treat our customers.
Craig Donovan is the SVP, Global Network Integration at Lexicon Relocation