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Survey: Most Suppliers Experience “Operational Friction” When Serving Manufacturers


According to a survey conducted by HICX, a supplier experience platform provider, 61% of suppliers are struggling to put their best foot forward for major manufacturers, presenting an opportunity for brands to improve supplier experience and boost competitiveness. The “Voice of the Supplier” survey, released Sept. 6, revealed that most suppliers experience “operational friction” when working with large manufacturers. 61% say it’s difficult to deliver their best for key customers. 60% feel they spend too much time on customer-driven administration, and 47% struggle to get enquiries resolved.

HICX surveyed 500 suppliers from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada — all of whom serve some of the biggest brands in the world across the CPG, fast-moving customer goods, aerospace, and defense and energy sectors — who shared how they perceive their most important customers. 

According to the report there is far too much unnecessary friction stemming from operational processes. Over a third (38%) of suppliers need to login to at least ten systems to serve their main customer. Considering the different login details and processes used to navigate each system, this is a growing headache for suppliers, who are often left to piece together what to do and when. 

When asked what would most improve the relationship with their most important customers, communication issues top the poll, with 25% of suppliers indicating that they need more relevant information and feedback from major customers.

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