Supply Chain Management
Not owned by or bound to any real estate or household goods company, Paragon Relocation is free to select suppliers based solely on service quality and the competitiveness of their pricing. We then pass those advantages on to our clients. While we take great pride in our suppliers and the services they provide, we also acknowledge that sometimes existing relationships work best. We welcome our clients’ existing suppliers as a result. Paragon’s supply chain management services are critical to achieving excellence in execution and delivering superior customer service. To find out more about our supplier partners and the services we can provide, please contact us.
Using a well-documented process, Paragon selects suppliers objectively based on proven criteria for each function or service. Examples include financial stability, system protocols, training excellence, metric and KPI tracking, quality measures and after-hours support. To exceed customer expectations requires more effort than this, however. Ensuring our business represents a meaningful portion of each supplier’s volume, using long-term relationships to increase the use of shared technology, relying more on metrics and KPIs to judge performance so that our suppliers are free to make maximum use of their expertise and emphasizing total cost rather than isolating singular transactions has helped us turn standard business relationships into true partnerships. As a result, we describe our suppliers as supplier partners, a term that is validated every day by actual experience.
Beyond the selection process, Paragon Relocation works hard to make sure our clients receive the best possible prices; we also help them to save as much money as they can without compromising service. We use regular benchmarking of the pricing and services offered by our current and prospective suppliers, as well as continuous data gathering, to verify our costs are as low as possible. If any opportunities are identified, we then pass the savings on to our clients. In addition, consolidating purchase requirements and agreements with preferred suppliers maximizes our leverage to negotiate rates, at the same time that it improves stability. Paragon also contractually requires all household goods van lines to comply with invoice audits performed by an objective third party specialist, at no cost to our clients. This approach lowers costs while maintaining the highest possible service levels.
Service Level Agreements
Paragon utilizes Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with its suppliers to ensure consistent and excellent service. Our SLAs generally include performance requirements and expectations, process requirements for important items like exception management, and communication criteria between the supplier partner, Paragon and the transferring employee or assignee, among other things. With all new clients, we train our suppliers on the details of the client’s policy, define the Service Level Agreement so that it is specific to that client’s needs, explain all processes, review communication protocols and define escalation procedures. Training suppliers on the needs and culture of our clients is also a critical step. Compliance with SLAs is measured through metrics and KPIs, exception requests and survey results. Additionally, supplier partners are required to sign the Paragon Partner Pledge. The pledge is the supplier’s commitment to support Paragon’s Mission Statement to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time.
Metrics & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
All supplier partner contracts include service specific metrics and KPIs. Data is collected real-time. These measurements prove we deliver excellent service. However, they can never replace the feedback we get directly from customers, as no measurement system is perfect. In the end what matters most is whether our customers are happy; this is our top goal. Each supplier partner’s performance is reviewed regularly. Results are viewed on a color coded dashboard and any metrics or KPIs that require immediate action are escalated. If non-performance isn’t corrected, suppliers will ultimately be removed from our system. The key is providing a clear line of sight into performance and taking swift action when needed.
As is the case in any business relationship, communication and providing feedback is critical to success. The first and most important tenet of good communication is to welcome the message, no matter what it is. At Paragon, we not only welcome feedback of all sorts, we embrace it and follow-up on the details. This is key to how we have formed successful partnerships with our suppliers. In addition, Paragon holds quarterly reviews with suppliers, requiring that at least two per year take place in person. Despite advancement in technologies, we still feel strongly that nothing truly replaces face-to-face interaction. We also keep an open door policy, schedule regular phone calls, talk to our suppliers at industry conferences and hold an annual supplier partner awards ceremony to recognize top performance. Our extensive supplier communication means we know almost as much about our suppliers as they do.
Paragon Relocation’s Supplier Diversity Program drives broader inclusion and diversification of our global supply chain. It also reflects Paragon’s values and culture. Our leadership team believes diversity is good for business too. In fact, Paragon actively pursues diversity across regional, cultural, gender, race and other factors in its business dealings. And, Paragon has set a goal of allocating 10% or more of its spend to suppliers that are owned by minorities, women, service disabled and veterans, as well as companies located in historically underutilized business (HUB) zones. At Paragon, we want the diversity of our suppliers to reflect the diversity of the world around us. Click here to read a Paragon article on the power of diversity.