The Definition of Success (Metrics)



Ready to continue building your supplier matrix?


In the last article, we talked about the first building block: reviewing the core tenets and values that explain the WHY behind your business.


In this article, you’ll discover how to translate those values into measures of supplier success.


Identify 5 to 7 Key Differentiators


To bring your business vision to life (or to keep it thriving and growing), you and your suppliers need to be simpatico when it comes to core values.


Your suppliers don’t need to reflect every single value in your business model, but they should mirror the most important ones. Therefore, think about the qualities that truly set your business apart—in other words, your key differentiators.


For example, is one of those differentiators offering timely service to your customers? Having the most innovative trends? Or perhaps offering rock bottom pricing?


Make a list of those unique and defining qualities. 5 to 7 should suffice.


Define Your Measures


Now the fun begins. How do you measure the differentiators you’ve just identified? But hey, why measure at all? Well, the guiding principle here is “what gets measured, gets improved,” an axiom famously coined by Peter Drucker or Robin S. Sharma (there’s some debate on this one). Measures are the way you can keep elevating your suppliers’ performance—and fully deliver your value proposition to customers.


Here are a few ways to think about those measurements.


To gain a full understanding of a supplier’s performance, you’ll probably want a mix of objective and subjective measurements. And while I’ll happily admit that some things can’t be measured, I’d also encourage you to think creatively about those “difficult” differentiators. Find ways to translate them into meaningful metrics to help you and your suppliers improve.


Making Things More Concrete


Wondering how this part of your supplier matrix might actually start looking on paper? Perhaps this simple example will help.


There’s More Help Out There, Too


The process of developing and staying close to these measures is challenging. Fortunately, there are some great resources out there to help you succeed. In my work, I’ve found Radical Focus and Traction to be incredibly helpful.


You’ve just learned to define your measures of success based on your key differentiators.


The next step in building your matrix is to assess your suppliers’ performance in comparison to those metrics—and to figure out what it tells you about your suppliers... and your business.

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