Article contributed by Mike Berman, COO, Day & Nite/All Service, with Tia Tassava
In biological terms, species adapt in 3 ways: behaviorally, physiologically, and structurally. These same principles most certainly apply to a business, with 2020’s events requiring all to adapt with greater urgency than at any other time in modern history.
While it may be biologically correct that species adapt independently, businesses attempting to evolve as soloists will not survive. Instead, necessary behavioral, physiological, and structural change comes in direct proportion to a given company’s supplier and adviser network’s strength and reliability.
More than presenting us with an unprecedented variety of storms to weather, 2020 will determine how capable we are of learning and applying its many lessons as adaptable professionals. As related to business:
- Structural: organizational design, with particular emphasis on sleek efficiencies both internal to a company as well as outsourced relationships;
- Behavioral: full conversion from responsibility to purposeful accountability, also applied internally and externally, and;
- Physiological: operating functions, full systemic alignment, highly dependent on fully integrating external to the company forces to ensure good corporate health.
Of these, suppliers and business advisers, most naturally, immediately and permanently impact the physiological. Given the extraordinarily complex and disparate hospitality industry supply chain, even one supplier unable to actively contribute to making yours a more physiologically and behaviorally sound business poses a great risk. Here, physiological meets behavioral.
A responsible supplier can be counted on to adequately perform its duties at a fair fee. Nothing inherently bad or wrong about this, however, to most effectively weather all storms in your establishment’s present and future, you cannot rely on any merely responsible supplier to make yours a more successful enterprise.
Responsible suppliers may adapt to your instructions or rules—existing or new. However, they lack the qualities for allowing you to adapt simply because a responsible supplier will never be able to bring new ideas, innovations nor can they ever accept full ownership for your business outcomes beyond narrowly defined scope of work.
By contrast, fully accountable suppliers routinely seek process and operational improvements to best benefit markets they serve. Of course, they consistently perform on transactional levels, but they go far beyond fee for service by collaborating with clients with a pure focus on meaningful, measurable business outcomes. Accountable suppliers not only accept they truly thrive in environments where they own the implications and consequences of their actions.
Doing this for others requires these suppliers to demonstrate proven track records of adaptation and evolution—otherwise known as innovation—in their own businesses. To protect and advance yours, it is incumbent on you to evaluate your leading suppliers in all categories as a top priority. Indeed, this critical exercise will prove far more important than 2021 budgeting.
At a minimum, this essential analysis places great emphasis on each vendor’s year to date major milestones, business updates, strategic initiatives, waste reduction programs, safety & hygiene protocols, and tangible innovations. By gauging how deeply a supplier is in their business evolution, you will determine how likely they are to actively contribute to yours as a fully accountable partner able to shape your more efficient future.
Simultaneously, it would be best to invite competing companies you may not be presently doing business with in for these same reviews. In any environment, a business is only as sound as its supplier network; in these stormy times, your very business future depends on accountable supplier integrity and evolutionary strength. As always, these weekly columns represent proven methods employed by the Day & Nite family of companies; permit us to further illustrate with a vivid example.
Timely installation of repair parts means everything for restaurant equipment uptime, but even someone only slightly familiar with the industry knows this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. There are many reasons for this, some situational, but at the core means and methods for ensuring the right part showed up at the right place at the right time are antiquated. Working closely with manufacturers and distributors, Day & Nite’s procurement, corporate finance, quality assurance, technology, strategy & standards personnel designed new technologies, streamlining the process while ensuring greater certainty of execution from the point of parts origin to ultimate customer destination.
These proprietary technologies have reduced the time it takes to order and secure parts while also eliminating costs previously embedded in highly manual procedures. Incorporating these new technologies has a profoundly positive structural, behavioral, and physiological impact for Day & Nite/All Service/Popular Plumbing suppliers, the company, and its customers. As one of many Day & Nite family of companies innovations, it’s the kind of thing you’d surely want to know about as you put your best plans in place to ensure your business can weather any storm through nimble adaptation built on a strong foundation of highly accountable suppliers.