The complexity of supply chains puts your reputation in the hands of the lowest common denominator.
Just as a steel chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so it is with a supply chain. A chain with uniformly strong links reduces risk and provides important benefits to the whole enterprise; but a broken link jeopardizes all.
The strongest chain is one in which each supplier considers his or her downstream buyer to be his or her preferred customer. As a 2005 survey made explicit: 75% of the respondent suppliers regularly put their preferred customers at the top of allocation lists for materials or services in short ...