Tips to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Supply Chain Partner

Nov 8, 2018Supply Chain Management

When it comes to getting your cargo from point A to point B, you want a supply chain partner that can deliver with efficiency, optimization, and communicate with you throughout the route.

Recognizing the risks of what could happen if you choose the wrong supply chain company to be your partner is extremely important when looking for someone to deliver your products. In order to avoid choosing the wrong partner, you must consider both your needs and evaluate the partnership.

So, what are the risks that could come with choosing the wrong partner? There are many things that can go wrong when transporting cargo whether the partner is a right fit or not, but there are some things that strong supply chain partners avoid in their practices.

When evaluating a potential partner, keep an eye out for these risks:


Not Evaluating Your Needs

In order to have a successful partnership that is mutually beneficial, you must know what your needs are before working with a supply chain logistics provider. What is your agenda?  What is your current experience?  How do you measure success of your providers?  How are you being managed by your superiors?  Make a clear list of items that are required in order to run a successful supply chain at your company.  Know, clearly, whom within your organization are impacted by your negotiated relationships and include them in your partner reviews.



Global providers with multi-country “brick and mortar”, have their inherent value due to their volume buy capabilities and infrastructure. However, the challenge of having a relationship with large global providers is obtaining the attention and visibility you need to have a successful, efficient and cost effective supply chain.  Their overheads are immense, and their ability to change or shift directions in support of your needs is challenging for them, and can be very frustrating for you.

Smaller providers, but with global capabilities, tend to have specialties that offer huge benefits to their customers, but that must be fully understood and vetted during the review and negotiation process.  They also tend to minimize the “square peg, round hole” consequences from which our industry sometimes struggles.

If you, as a decision-maker, intend only to look at the low price factor of your provider relationships, then you will gravitate toward the larger global providers; however, if you plan on focusing on long-term “spend saves”, then your smaller providers are usually in a better position to focus on your needs and find solutions.



If your communication is unclear or nonexistent, your expectations may not match those of your partner’s.

If you need certain lead times or large capacities, your supply chain partner may not have the production and performance levels you need to get your products where it needs to go. If this is the case, it needs to be clearly communicated to you. Some providers may not give you the attention you deserve because they may only see you as a fraction of their business, rather than a partner.


At TOC, we pride ourselves on being client focused and solutions driven, which means we exceed our client’s expectations with custom solutions and delivering results. We are successful in our partnerships with our clients because we are transparent, from start to finish. We handle all the intricacies to make sure that your needs are met, and we have the experience, results, and customer satisfaction to meet your needs.

Interested in making TOC your supply chain partner? Contact us today.


Our capable and experienced team is standing by to assist organizations and supply chains across the globe. Click the button to get in touch with our team.

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