How good SRM saved Subway ... in 1966

14 November 2008

Paul Snell By Paul Snell

Subway now has more stores in the UK than McDonalds, but it could have all been very different without good supplier relationship management (SRM).

According to an article in this week’s Financial Times, in 1966 young Fred DeLuca’s new sandwich shop was struggling.

So he got his Mum to drive him to his suppliers weekly, and asked them for extra credit …

… and they gave it to him.

Contrast this with today’s story that US retailer Circuit City has filed for bankruptcy protection because when they asked for help from their suppliers they didn’t get it (in fact, suppliers became even less helpful).

I don’t know if any of DeLuca’s suppliers from back in ’66 are still vendors now, but I’m sure those that offered support reaped the rewards as the group rapidly expanded over the next 40+ years.

So it just goes to show the benefits of good SRM are not a new idea, but a concept some companies continue to get wrong.

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