Know Thy Matrix, Know Thyself

 

I’m still resisting the Keanu reference―and remaining laser-focused on supplier partnerships.

In my last article, I teed up this idea: You have an incredible amount of influence in building the supplier matrix that will drive maximum value for your business. Indeed, you create the environment to make your supplier partnerships thrive.

Now, I contend that the first step in this process is some business-oriented navel-gazing. You can’t know who you want to work with until you dig deep and discover the business you really want to build.

Remember when I said that finding the right supplier is much like finding the right partner in life? Well, there’s a reason all dating websites have you answer questions about yourself first. Finding that perfect partner starts with knowing what you want from the relationship, which comes from knowing yourself.

The same is true for your business. Most important, you need to know the WHY behind your business. In the words of Simon Sinek,

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Ah, but how to find your WHY? Well, hopefully, the answer is something that you see, hear, or practice every day – something so pervasive that your team and customers know it by heart, and point to it as a key reason they have chosen you.

Tangible homes for your WHY may include your business plan, your vision and mission statements, your EOS V/TO Roadmap, and so on. Look over this information and answer these questions:

  • What are your business priorities?

  • What are the key differentiators for your business?

  • What are the common themes you see?

  • What might be missing from your list?

  • What might you need to add, refine, or remove in order to build and grow your company?

In my next three articles, I’ll show you how to take your findings from this review phase and translate them into definitions of success metrics for your business. Next, we’ll assess your matrix using those metrics. And finally, you discover how to use your learnings to build a dialogue with your supplier partnerships.

We’ll do all of this, of course, with the goal of growing your business, first by building trust with your suppliers, and then ultimately, with your customers.