ETM Manufacturing Survey Finds that Supply Chain Partners Value Trust

Offers Free Downloadable E-Book with Practical Insight into Building Trusted Partnerships

LITTLETON, Mass. (April 10, 2013) ― A recent survey of an elite cadre of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) conducted by ETM Manufacturing found that, overwhelmingly, manufacturers place a high value on trust in partner relationships. The survey also found a great deal of consistency in the characteristics that define a “trusted” partnership, and in the behaviors that can tear down trust even in long-standing relationships.

The results illustrate that OEMs have a very clear understanding of the value of trust in the supply chain, and a very clear set of definitions for how suppliers can build – and damage – trust:

  • 72 percent of respondents rank trust in supplier relationships as very important
  • Nearly 3 of 4 said that the most critical attribute in establishing trust was a supplier’s commitment to establishing metrics and milestones of success at the outset of a project
  • 88 percent said that the single most damaging thing a supplier can do to trust is fail to report when a scheduled milestone slips


Other factors for building trust cited in the survey include understanding the customers’ business and proactive problem solving. Behaviors that damage trust include failure to meet expectations or promises and making changes without advising the customer.

The survey and a newly released free e-book that provides a model for building trust in supply chain partnerships was the brainchild of Rob Olney, president of ETM Manufacturing. Olney increasingly sees trust as critical in successful supply chain partnerships. Since buying ETM Manufacturing in 2006, he’s turned the struggling concern into one of New England’s Top 10 sheet-metal manufacturers by cultivating trust with customers through high quality manufacturing, responsiveness and cost efficiency.

Olney, working with customers such as computing giant EMC2 Corporation and start-ups like solar mounting system leader, Panel Claw and American Innovation Research Corp., has identified a step-by-step process for earning, nurturing and repairing trust with customers. Having been on both sides of the supplier-customer relationship in his 20-year career, he’s found that, like the survey results, there are common and widely known truths about how to build trust in business relationships and yet the challenges remain. Olney has captured his methodology in a free e-book “Improving Trust in Your Supply Chain” available for download now.

“One compelling lesson from the past few years has been that lowest-cost suppliers that don’t keep their promises can be very expensive partners if rework costs and schedule delays effect customer satisfaction scores and market penetration,” said Olney. “In an economy where there’s little or no margin for late delivery or poor quality, trust in your partner is no longer a nice to have – it’s a critical factor in competitive advantage.”


About ETM Manufacturing

For more than 40 years, ETM Manufacturing has been providing custom, precision sheet metal and machined components to some of the best New England-based original equipment manufacturers in computing, energy, telecommunications, medical/lab, printing and other industrial equipment.  ETM offers creative solutions to customer’s complex supply chain issues, helping them save money and reducing time to market. For more information, please visit or call (978) 486-9050.