Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Risk in the Supply Chain

In the current economy it is important to know the financial condition of your major suppliers. What would happen if a major supplier goes out of business? It is important to have a back up supplier not only to protect against a major supplier going out of business but also if a major supplier decides to change your credit terms unfavorably, or cut you off to protect a larger customer in your market, or discontinues a product line that is important to you. I have seen suppliers do all of these things.

Always be on the lookout for a back up supplier. When you go to trade shows identify possible target suppliers and start to develop relationships with them. In the long run it can really pay off and you will be prepared when the unthinkable happens to one of your key suppliers.

Another good thing is to do a relationship check up with your suppliers. See how content or discontented they are with doing business with you. These checkups can give indications as to what their next move might be. A good CFO Service is to challenge the business owner about the strengths and weaknesses in the supply chain.