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 “Trust is built on credibility and credibility comes from acting in others interests before your own”  

– Anonymous

Credibility in the Supply Chain

What is Credibility?

The root of the word “credibility” is “credo,” which means “I believe” in Latin. Put simply, credibility is the feeling of trust and respect that you inspire in others.

No single factor creates credibility. Rather, a combination of factors must be in place for you to establish it. It can also take discipline in follow-up and follow-through.

Why is Credibility Important?

Think about a time when you worked under a leader who had credibility. Chances are that he or she energized and excited her entire team. You knew that he or she would do the right things for the right reasons, and you trusted her judgment.

Credible leaders attract enthusiastic and committed followers, and people want to work for them. But credibility is important in many areas, not just in leadership roles.

For instance, sales professionals need credibility to be successful. Consumers don’t want to buy product from someone that they don’t trust, or from a person who doesn’t know about his product they are selling and the company producing the product…

You also need credibility when you give presentations, deliver training, and sell your ideas.

How to Build Credibility

No matter what your role or position, credibility is something that you have to earn. It takes time, patience, and consistency to build it.

The key to credibility: You need to be authentic. People who are authentic do what they say; there’s no mystery about their intentions, or about how those intentions might translate to their actions. This is why it’s important to know yourself inside and out, and to demonstrate authenticity in everything that you do.

People do as they say. When they set a date for follow-up, they follow-up on that day. When a meeting is set, they are there at the right time. When an assignment is given to them, with a due date, they meet the due date. They meet all project due dates, they, and their department are responsible to meet. If not, again, they tell you in advance if there is an issue.

When a commodity or part is due from a supplier, they follow-up in advance to insure the Supplier meets the due date or the Supplier tells the buyer that they will meet the due date. If they are going to be late with a delivery, you or the Supplier lets you in advance that they cannot meet the due date and why. They will then issue a new date. You in turn have to tell production planning that a due date cannot be met, why and what the new due date will be so they can properly plan for the delay.

Credibility Ensures Trust

credibilityAnyone working with you can trust that you will be responsible for your particular area of expertise. Over time, they can count on you to meet your obligations.

Where do you apply credibility? It can be applied everywhere: at home, in business and with your friends. It can be applied in the Supply Chain.

Your Supply Chain partners can count on you to meet any Service Level Agreement (SLA) Key Performance Indicator (KPI) due dates for areas you are responsible for along the Supply chain. They trust you. You are a valued Partner. You do what you say, when you say it. If you are a Third Party Logistics (3PL) company the Supply Chain knows that you will meet all obligations. The same goes for Transportation Companies, the shipper/customer, the Supplier and even the ultimate customer. As the quote states above, you put “others interests before your own.”

Imagine a Supply Chain wherein every member is credible and meets their obligations/due dates. Even if there is a problem or issue, and there will be, they count on you to tell the Supply Chain, in advance, so adjustments can be made as a team to meet your goals. There will always be risks out there, but how you respond to those risks or issues is what is important.

All Supply Chain partners should use collaboration, strategic alliances and trust, to gain the best value for all members of the Supply Chain.

And, let’s not forget the importance of the ultimate customer. The Supply Chain must have the ultimate goal of on time, every time to go beyond the customer’s expectations/needs through credibility.

Audience Feedback:

Do you pride yourself by being credible? Are your Supply Chain partners credible? Do you have examples wherein credibility helped you, and the lack of it hurt you/your Supply Chain? Tell us in the comments section below.