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Three steps to simplify your supply chain | Our first suggestion

Most of us are drawn to the word “simplify” because our lives can be super complicated. One problem is we try to do too much because it’s hard to trust others to do it right (i.e. the way we would do it). We hear the word “synergy” and the concept is inviting; a team where the collective accomplishments exceeds the sum abilities of the individual members. But how do you get something like that started? How do you trust it? Where do you find your invested team? This is the first of three suggestions to simplify and empower your supple chain:

Suggestion #1: Elevate your “vendors” – Which of these two phrases motivates you to help someone: “I need…” or “Will you help me? The first phrase reminds the recipient who is in charge (and it isn’t them!). The second phrase is more vulnerable. In essence, you are saying, “I can’t do this by myself.” Does that sound weak or does it sound wise? If you think it sounds weak, maybe you’ve never experienced synergy …

Most of your suppliers are not greedy villains, trying to pick your pockets (If they are, you need new suppliers). The truth of the matter is: Humans were designed to solve problems in community. We like to be brought in on the decision-making process, and when we are, we become creatively invested in the outcome. Do you want your suppliers creatively investing in your outcome? Do you want them to see your big picture so they care about what you care about? Then ask them for help. Ask them for their ideas. I bet they have resources you don’t even know about, sitting at the ready to work on your behalf. When you share your problems, the best and most noble of your suppliers will step up and shine, and you will be on your way to simplifying your supply chain, finding your team. So don’t think of asking for help as a personal demotion, think of it as an important promotion – transforming your vendors to partners.

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