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10 Qualities of Top Supply Chain Partners
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Supply Chain Brain recently published its list of 100 Great Supply Chain Partners, and found they shared these traits that built satisfaction among customers and suppliers.

1.  Reliability. When a vendor proves itself to be solid in this area, a lasting partnership follows.

2.  Excellence. Great vendors provide service over and above what's required.

3.  Value. While the driver for purchasing any new service may be cost savings, satisfaction over the long term relies on increasing sales, production or other revenue-related metrics.

4.  Expertise. The best providers employ the best practices related to their industry, market or product and show a deep knowledge base.

5.  Problem-solving. Well-regarded partners take charge and solve problems when they crop up.

6.  Improvement. Customers look for partners that are constantly improving, which is an indication that future needs will be met.

7.  Support. Customers depend on vendors to implement, train, maintain and support the technologies and services they provide. The quality and timeliness of knowledge transfer is critical to solving and preventing problems.

8.  Positivity. Vendors with a can-do attitude, who are ready to take on challenges without complaint, are highly appreciated.

9.  Footprint. Companies increasingly do business around the world and need partners with a global reach.

10.  Management. Customers pay close attention to the actions of the their supply chain partners' leaders. A personal commitment at that level makes for a strong long-term relationship.

Case Notes

One company that nominated its logistics partner to the list is Group 180, a division of St. Louis-based Fredman Brothers Furniture that manufactures memory-foam mattresses and other sleep accessories. The partner, NonstopDelivery, provides complete white-glove delivery and setup at customers' homes, handles all schedule communications with customers and runs the reverse process for returns. Nonstop's ability to add value by making Group 180's customers happy is a big factor in their selection as a supply chain partner.


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