order and invoice, but somebody with a need, somebody with a
technical challenge, somebody with a plant to run,” he says.
“When we have business to conduct a month from now or six
months from now, the relationship that has been forged during
these events will be more meaningful, particularly when an issue
or concern arises, a new product is being developed or we’re
facing a customer challenge together.”
Incorporating community involvement in a supplier relationship
creates a new kind of conversation, Smith says: “When you
start to take away the barriers around your conversations,
there is more room for creativity and ideation because you’re
learning more about each other, you’re learning more about
each other’s capabilities and you’re more open to hearing ideas
from one another. Every conversation you have is a different
kind of conversation that enhances that relationship with your
Keurig’s community involvement initiative has impacted suppliers
in another way: It has influenced them to start their own giving-back programs. “When we visit our suppliers’ locations, they
are anxious to talk to us about the (charitable) work they’re
doing and how our cultures are so similar because we both are
engaged in our communities,” Smith says.
“I also think that people believe you more if they see your values
in action. I think having those values so evident to our supplier
base also inspires them to take things to the next level in their
own companies,” she adds.
For Keurig, furthering supplier relationships through its core
values — including brewing a better world through community
involvement — is a win-win.
“By adding CAFE time to the Top 100 Supplier Conference,
we’re living and breathing all four of our values with 100 of our
closest business partners,” Iaderosa says.
One participant emailed the company, saying, “We appreciated
the opportunity to participate in the Keurig Green Mountain
Top 100 Supplier Conference, including the charitable event
activities. We enjoyed having the chance to engage with our
Keurig partners and our extended supply chain partners in such
a meaningful way. … We are thrilled to have played a small role
in helping to provide support for those in the community that
need it most.”
The CAFE event, she wrote, “really underscored the idea of
people working together to achieve great things.” ISM
Sue Doerfler is a publications coordinator for Inside Supply Management®.
its core values —
including brewing a
better world through
— is a win-win.