When you visit the doctor with an issue, they will ask about your ailments. The doctor may have a list of symptoms and questions, and they may ask to take a look or listen to assess the situation. This is a reasonable protocol and expectation, right?
So what if you told your doctor you didn’t want to share your information? Or maybe you were willing to share some information, but you didn’t want an evaluation?
Since you didn’t offer full disclosure and transparency into your condition, there’s a good chance the doctor will ask you to come back when you’re willing to share. Or (not sure if this is better or worse), the doctor may give you a half-baked diagnosis. Either way, your refusal to disclose the necessary information means the problem will still be there when you leave—and you’ll leave without a resolution.
Why does this matter? Because sharing data with your provider is an incredibly important part of the process. It allows your provider or partner to gain an authentic understanding of the situation so they can do their job effectively.
Sharing information uncovers leverage
Here’s a non industry-related example. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website states, “Data sharing encourages more connection and collaboration between researchers, which can result in important new findings within the field.” This point perfectly demonstrates the power of applying real, accurate data—and the same can be said about the supply chain.
When we share data, we can create real opportunities. We can help our clients uncover and create leverage.
When you share the 360-degree view of your wants, needs, and goals, and then add the highest possible spend and scope to what you offer, you can uncover leverage. This leverage is not available without a comprehensive review of relevant documents and research. Leverage is incredibly important when managing costs and relationships and creating efficiencies in your supply chain, so sharing accurate information is worth the effort.
Sharing information to compare apples to apples
Companies spend time going through RFPs with multiple companies, which isn’t always necessary and can result in wasted time and effort. The alternative is sharing the right information with the right types of providers from the beginning (essentially, removing the guesswork from the process). This will quickly identify the providers who are the best fit.
For example, maybe you invite five providers to bid for your business. Your main priority is to achieve your primary goal, which is to increase your company’s on-time delivery to 100 percent. However, the RFP doesn’t clearly define this as your goal.
When you receive the RFP responses, all five providers present a two percent savings. And only one touched on 100 percent on-time delivery, which was your priority. The sole provider may win the relationship based on that response, but what if the other providers could also promise on-time delivery? In that case, because this information wasn’t clear and you weren’t able to compare apples-to-apples, your choice of provider may or may not end up being the best one.
Sharing information offers maximum customization and collaboration
When working with consultants and providers that ask to review information prior to engagement, the goal is to establish a relationship that is not just a buy and sell connection. It should offer a win-win scenario and provide real value to both parties.
True partners will add value without asking for anything up front (aside from an NDA for discovery). The full scope of a project should provide a holistic view for both parties to work from and invite creativity for collaboration. This openness and transparency will lead to creative and innovative solutions.
However, if identifying a solution to a challenge turns out to be impossible due to an unknown data point that rears its ugly head later in the process, then the process was a waste of time.
Trust, transparency, and honesty is the only way to go
In the end, you have to trust who you choose to work with on every level. If you don’t trust your partners, you will be tempted to hold back valuable information, which will prove to be a disservice (and even detrimental) to you and your provider.
The more trust you have, the more transparent and honest you will be in the relationship. Honest relationships lead to great success. Isn’t that everyone’s ultimate goal?