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Relationship Building

Genworth Financial recognizes contributions of service partners.

Acknowledging the importance of partnering with service providers, Genworth Financial (Richmond, Va.) in December 2005 introduced a Strategic Supplier of the Year Award and other awards to recognize its top service partners. According to Scott McKay, the firm's CIO and SVP of operations, the awards target suppliers that produced multiple solutions to help the insurance carrier achieve its product, service and cost goals.

While Genworth (more than $103 billion in assets) collaborates with 2,000 suppliers, 40 were deemed strategic partners, McKay notes. Executives chose the four vendors whose actions upheld Genworth's company values—performance, integrity, clarity and heart—in addition to a Strategic Supplier of the Year.

McKay explains that the awards are a way to build Genworth's relationships with its suppliers. "Programs like this are necessary to strategic sourcing," he says. "Organizations that are going to be effective and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage have to understand how to work with their suppliers," McKay continues. "With common goals, both the relationship and business can grow."

In the Performance category, administrative services provider Wakely and Associates (Clearwater, Fla.) was honored for the customer service it provides to Genworth's Medicare supplement customers. New York-based Genpact, which began its relationship with Genworth in 1998 and has helped the insurer restructure technology to overcome significant challenges in training and customer service development, received the Integrity award. Transaction Applications Group (Lincoln, Neb.), a policy administration services provider, received the Clarity award for continued visibility in customer service. And data analysis solutions provider SAS (Cary, N.C.) won the Heart award for outstanding volunteer efforts and significant contributions to the community.

For its role in helping Genworth produce better marketing materials and increase productivity, Richmond, Va.-based direct mail provider Direct Mail Solutions earned Strategic Supplier of the Year recognition. "On virtually every front of our relationship with Direct Mail Solutions, we produced better quality services," McKay says. --Maria Woehr

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