AXA's suppliers are set for a massive shake-up this year. The insurer plans to scrutinise its entire supply chain, from building contractors to facilities managers, over how relationships are conducted.

AXA customer services director Andy Fairchild said that the company would be asking its suppliers to think about how problems are resolved between AXA and the supplier.

Fairchild said that the exercise would also attempt to clarify what AXA would do within a specific relationship and what the supplier would do. "It's about working out some agreed principles for doing business rather than just agreeing service levels and performance measures," he said.

Only last year AXA started a major review of its loss adjusters and legal panel. Fairchild said that the "soft skills" reviews would also be carried out on the companies that went through the tendering process last year.

He said that the review would also help AXA and its suppliers think about and demonstrate regulatory compliance. "With issues such as 'treating customers fairly' on the FSA's agenda this kind of work is essential. AXA and its partners need to be able to sort problems out in a non-confrontational way so that the customer is not affected," he added.