Figure 3-2: Sample matrix indicating which critical suppliers or customers you need to focus on.
Prioritising Your Customers and Suppliers
Of course, all businesses need to maintain good relations with their customers and suppliers, and no doubt you spend considerable time and effort doing so. Therefore, the last thing you want to happen is for a disruption to put these carefully nurtured relationships at risk. In this section, we discuss a few precautions you can take to mitigate that possibility:
Think about your critical suppliers and customers so that you know which to concentrate on when a disruption hits. A very simple approach is to get hold of a list of all your suppliers and plot them on a matrix that shows the criticality of the things that they supply and the amount you spend with them. Carry out a similar process with your customers to show how much they spend with you and any onerous contractual penalties. Figure 3-2 shows an example of this kind of matrix.
A graph like the one in Figure 3-2 can identify those suppliers that supply critical products (they’re plotted higher up on the vertical axis), and those suppliers that your business spends a lot of money with (plotted further to the right on the horizontal axis). So you see the suppliers that deliver critical ...