On the 4th day of Christmas my supplier said to me ‘what is a Supplier Corrective Action Request?… Oh! Why don’t you let us skip the paperwork and just fix it?’
If you aren’t familiar with what exactly is a Supplier Corrective Action Request (SCAR), it is basically a formal way to stage a supplier intervention. It is a formal request from a buyer to a supplier to make a change that is usually related to quality or performance. In short, the purpose of a SCAR is to tell your supplier that you care about them, but what they are doing is not ok, and you want to help them get well.
Presentation matters. Consider the state of your relationship with the supplier. What is the state of the relationship before you confront them, and what will it be after? How should it be delivered? Should we just drop it in their inbox, or should we deliver it over Teams or even in-person?
The Supplier Corrective Action Request is often referred to as a SCAR in a tongue in cheek kind of way because it can leave a permanent mark on the business relationship for better or worse. As a buyer you are intervening in a supplier’s business process. Sure, a SCAR is not usually intended to be harsh, but it is often received that way.
Yesterday’s article alluded to an important concept that we will elaborate more on in another discussion. There are limitations to what kinds of supplier communication can be managed within the world of traditional EDI. With the concept of a SCAR, we are once again seeing an aspect of the B2B eCommerce relationship that EDI doesn’t service. B2B relationships are growing more and more complex as business process evolves and the need for effective communication across the entire spectrum of B2B issues becomes even more important with the passing of time.
This raises two questions. Not only, how do you manage hard conversations with your supplier, but also, what is the technological infrastructure that you use to support supplier communication when EDI alone just doesn’t cut it?