Every business needs to carefully manage their relationship with suppliers. Suppliers are relied on heavily for the success of the operation, yet it is also an area somewhat out of a business owner’s control. The most effective strategy for keeping everything running smoothly and efficiently is to make sure that the supplier relationship is kept happy and productive and there are several ways in which you can do this. So, if you are a new business looking to strike up relationships with vendors or if you think that your relationships with your suppliers could be improved then read on for a few tips.
1. Regular Communication
One of the most obvious ways to improve relationships with suppliers should be to communicate on a regular basis. This should involve phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and digital communication. This allows both parties to stay informed on any important business information and to address any issues, but regular communication should also be about forging positive relationships. These relationships are often very formal, but it will be beneficial for all if you get to know each other.
2. Proactive Approach
Leading on from this, any issue or hurdle to overcome should be dealt with early to stop it from becoming a serious problem that could harm the relationship. This will build trust and respect which is key in the supply chain.
3. Understand Roles, Responsibilities & Contractual Obligations
A positive working relationship can be forged when everyone understands exactly what their role is and what the role is of everyone else within the relationship. This will keep everything running smoothly and ensure that you can work together as a team.
4. Embrace Technology
Like many areas of business, technology can be used to streamline the supply chain and improve relationships. Omnia Ecommerce provide supplier portals which are an effective tool for collaboration, automating key processes, reducing costs and helping both parties to make important decisions based on real-time data. Businesses who need to communicate effectively with their suppliers, can benefit from the functionality of such portals that bring improved communication, drive efficiency and reduce admin costs. This leaves your internal staff to focus on more value-added activities.
5. See It From Their Point Of View
It is important that you are able to see the operation from their point of view (particularly if you are also a supplier) and understand that you are not their only client. Handling multiple customers can be a huge challenge, and this must be recognized if a positive relationship is to be forged.
6. Regular Reviews
It is also worth coming together and reviewing performance on a regular basis. This will provide both parties with the opportunity to discuss any issues that are happening and allow them to work together to solve problems as opposed to keeping any problems and negative emotions hidden from the other party.
Building trust and developing a positive working relationship with suppliers is vital for success. This is not something that happens overnight, however, and it will require work and patience from both businesses to forge this special relationship. It is worth the effort, however, as a positive working relationship will help your company to succeed and ensure that you do not have to waste time and money finding new suppliers on a regular basis.