It’s easy to think, especially in the last 24 months, that a supplier is someone who calls you (well, hopefully they are proactive enough to call) just to tell you how much your price is going up or which products you ordered are not coming.
I’m guessing you know what I mean because then we must make the same call to you. Frustrating? Yes. Confusing? Yes. Even embarrassing? Yes. Frankly, it probably gives us all a bit of a helpless feeling. And more so, it might lead us to anger toward the supplier or their company.
I am in a CEO group called C12. I highly recommend it if you are a company leader. It’s been life and business changing for me and for Wilson Lumber over the years. Anyway, the last session was all about suppliers and how, as much as we may get frustrated at them sometimes, they are people too. They are people made in the image of God, just like you and I, and people who, by the way, are struggling with the very same problems we are struggling with: Lack of enough qualified people in the workforce, shortages of materials, trucking problems, not enough computer chips or LVL’s or toilet paper or whatever.
It has never been truer that we are indeed, all in this together. And in a nation that seems divided, in a business climate that seems helpless, in a supply chain that seems broken, my encouragement is to remember that suppliers are people too.
As for Wilson Lumber, we recognize that we need customers, especially good customers that communicate, order regularly, pay on time and all that stuff. But we also very much need suppliers that do all of those same things.
My hope is that at the end of the current disruptions we see in the marketplace, we’ll emerge with better and stronger relationships with our suppliers. That of course, will lead to better and stronger relationships with our customers. And all of that will make all of us better.