An ecosystem of trust and loyalty
9 out of 10 businesses, responding to a recent survey, said employee experiences were a top priority for them. And this is not simply a matter of treating staff ethically. Businesses that achieve great employee engagement stand to improve sales by 20%, productivity by 17 percent, and profitability by 21 percent.
Businesses also stand to make similar gains by investing in creating a dependable ecosystem of partners – particularly suppliers – which is built on mutual trust and shared benefits. Supplier loyalty not only results in a more streamlined business model, it frees organizations up to concentrate on their core competencies, instead of wasting energy on constantly trying to optimize procurement. Most importantly, supplier loyalty makes businesses more resilient to market disruptions. After all, supply chain disruptions were the first signs of the recent pandemic going global, even before many regions had registered infections. This interconnected nature of modern markets – regardless of industry or sector – is the reason that the global supply chain management market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.2 percent, between 2020 and 2027.
A world transformed by crisis
The recent global pandemic has served as a reset, for contemporary organizations. From changes in the priorities of individuals, to redefined market pressures, and the rate of tech adoption; the post-pandemic economy is a state of accelerated transformation. Navigating these challenges, better than their competitors, has become priority #1, for businesses across sectors.
Pushed into a corner by an unprecedented crisis, many businesses realized that their greatest strength – or weakness, in some cases – was the quality of their engagement with employees, and suppliers. Whether it was the challenge of operating frontline essential teams, who were often at social-distancing appropriate reduced numbers; or being productive with remote workforces going about their activities from home; organizations with a progressive employee engagement focus survived the crisis in far better shape. Likewise, businesses who had constantly changed suppliers and sourcing strategies based solely on costs; found themselves left high-and-dry, as suppliers prioritized competitors that had invested in building long-term relationships with them.
The bottom-line is that the pandemic exposed the inherent weaknesses of business models that had been ‘optimized’ on the basis of constantly shifting short-term priorities, and disposable relationships.
Tech-enabled Loyalty initiatives can help organizations build resilient trust networks
So how can business ensure that their relationships with their staff and suppliers promote loyalty? The answer lies in taking a consistently empathetic and collaborative approach, which takes into account the needs, concerns and wellbeing, of employees and suppliers. Trust is built on consistency; but when dealing with multiple suppliers and even a mid-sized workforce, doing so successfully cannot be achieved by simply hoping that the management team are thoughtful.
Technology that can monitor and capture both tangible and intangible aspects of engagement, is the key to being able to ensure that businesses consistently act in the best interest of their employees and suppliers; as well as ensuring that communication with these critical stakeholders adds value to the relationship. Contemporary tech-suites are the solution to enhancing loyalty and engagement, by eliminating silos between HR teams and employees; as well as between procurement teams and suppliers; with a combination of case management platforms, real-time reporting and analytics, and enhanced communication channels that empower all stakeholders to co-create mutually beneficial outcomes.