Customer-Supplier Division

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A Tale of Two SQEs

By Janet Lentz posted 07/31/23 05:51 AM


I worked in an industry where strong customer-supplier relationships are a necessity. Our customers assigned us SQEs to help us meet the stringent requirements they placed upon us. Not all interactions were positive.

SQE-1 was a tyrant, but put it bluntly. He treated us like servants, instead of partners, sometimes requiring calls at odd hours. Any glitch at all and we would cringe, knowing it would generate a stream of shouting and accusations. He viewed our motivations with suspicion.

SQE-2 couldn’t have been more different. Problems were always met with “How can I help?” Our interactions were transparent and trusting. Working with her was a joy, and we consistently won quality awards from her company year after year.

It will come as no surprise that SQE-1’s company eventually went bankrupt and was purchased by a competitor. SQE-2’s company is world renown for the quality of its products.

How do you treat your suppliers? Are they partners or servants? Who monitors the interactions between your SQEs and your suppliers?

Trust, professionalism, and transparency are key to developing the kind of customer-supplier relationships that keep us all in business.