SC21: Relationship Management Toolkit

How companies communicate and interact in supply chains is a key factor in influencing industry’s ability to compete and increase its share of world markets. Whenever organisations interact there is risk; no single company can act independently of its customers or suppliers.

The Supply Chain Relationships code of practice and supporting processes, bring customers and suppliers together to improve business performance and minimise risk.

Implementation of a robust relationship management process enables the following benefits to accrue:

  • Improved time to contract
  • Reduced lead-time as a result of improved planning and concurrent activities
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced risk as a result of joint problem solving
  • Reduced product/service and support costs by eliminating waste in business processes
  • Differentiation of your organisation, helping you to win and retain business

The Supply Chain Relationships code of practice establishes a set of guiding principles that promote the highest standard of supply chain relationships throughout the extended enterprise. It promotes the creation of an environment in which teams understand and work towards their shared objectives whilst still meeting their individual targets.

The highest standard of relationship management will be achieved through a structured engagement process involving all relevant functions with regular reviews at operational and strategic levels.

  • Relationship Management
  • Implementation



The relationship management review (RMR) questionnaire, aligned to the supply chain relationships code of practice, provides a mechanism to evaluate the relationship between two or more parties, typically a “customer – supplier” relationship, involving multiple stakeholders in both organisations who interact on a regular basis.

The RMR questionnaire focuses on four elements of the relationship, each with five key attributes:

Relationship Toolkit (RMM) image

Relationships are assessed, and improvements measured, against their desired type/state (failing, reactive, operational, cooperative or collaborative) which may change over time. Stakeholders are encouraged to look at the descriptors for each of the attributes being assessed and to select the one that is most appropriate to their specific relationship(s). The facilitator’s analysis tool collates all the inputs to provide an overall picture of the relationship that can be used to agree the current relationship state and to identify areas for improvement.

The tool is flexible and outputs can be tailored to the specific requirements of the facilitator and/or the relationship being assessed. It can be used to collate data and extract pertinent comments or to illustrate the results of the assessment using one, or all, of its default charts.

The copyright in the SC21 Relationship Code of Practice, the Relationship Management Review Questionnaire and all other material on this web site vests in ADS. It may be freely used by ADS members, SC21 signatories and their customers. It must not be renamed or modified in any way without the express written consent of ADS.

C ADS Group 2021 All rights reserved

Training and purchase of a copy of the EFQM Model Brochure for each assessment conducted are required prior to use, to ensure consistent deployment and licensing control of the diagnostic tools. You can buy your copy at this link (EFQM shop).

For further information see the following websites : European Foundation for Quality Management and British Quality Foundation.