Friday, December 11, 2020

A Guide To Creating Strong Supplier Relationships

 Creating strong supplier relationships is something that happens over time. You can’t expect to build up a rapport with a supplier right away, but you can begin putting the work in to build a strong relationship and become an invaluable client to them. In this guide to creating strong supplier relationships, we’ll give you plenty of advice to help you get started right away:

Don’t Negotiate Right Away 

You might be tempted to negotiate right away, but don’t do it. You run the risk of insulting the supplier, especially if they deem their pricing already fair and set in stone. Instead, work on building a relationship with them first, and show them that you’re a valuable, trustworthy client. They may not reduce pricing for you, but they may aim to provide a personalized service with extra bonuses. 

Pay Them On Time 

Paying in a timely manner is crucial if you want to keep your suppliers happy. While waiting until the very last second to pay could potentially help your cash flow, it could impact the quality of their service to you. You can find all kinds of easy ways to pay suppliers online depending on where they are based. Just take a look at how to send money to Thailand and you’ll see how easy it can be. 


Personalize The Relationship

It’s always a good idea to strengthen the relationship by personalizing it. Meet them face to face if you can, and take an interest in what they do. Instead of just thinking of them as your suppliers, think of them as your partners. This partnership will be based on financial transactions, as well as trust and loyalty. Make your suppliers feel like an important part of your business. You can do this by making sure you inform them about your processes, such as releases of new products and promotions, and listen to their concerns. 

Place Orders In Good Time and Be Clear About Deadlines

Don’t be a problem client that orders late and complains when they don’t meet the deadline that you haven’t specified. Always place orders in good time and be very clear about when you need it done by. Be reasonable. 

Keep An Eye Open For Any Business Opportunities

Make sure you keep an eye open for any business opportunities and pass on their name if relevant. They may have a referral scheme, and they will appreciate the business. 

Use Technology To Simplify The Relationship

Investing in software could help you to simplify the relationship. Supplier management software can help you to keep track of the information regarding all of your suppliers in one place. Going one step further, you could potentially begin using purchase order management software, which can be used to create, process, and track purchase orders. There are certain platforms that incorporate both of these things, so look out for those. 

Come Up With a Detailed Agreement To Make Supplier Relationships Easier

If you’re going to be buying from a vendor on a regular basis, come up with a detailed agreement that you’re both happy with. Write down everything you both expect from this relationship, and include the following:

  • Service description

  • Payment terms

  • Delivery terms

  • Price

  • Communications 

You can then have both parties sign the document. It can be a simple or more complicated agreement depending on your business requirements. If you have a well documented agreement then disputes and confusion should be cleared up easily. 

Remember - Not All Suppliers Are Made Equal! 

The world is becoming more connected, and this means we regularly deal with vendors that are further afield. You could work with a supplier across the country, or even across the world. If you have vendors located in another country, make sure you keep in mind the differences in culture and do your best to respect that in your communications and the way you handle things. Make sure you’re ok with this before you begin a working relationship and don’t expect things to change just for you. You should also consider differences in currency, VAT rates, and other financial differences. It’s also wise to take into account time zone differences so that you’re not put out by the differences here, either. 

Creating strong supplier relationships can take time, especially if your supplier is across the world and operating from a completely different time zone and culture. However, with commitment and the above advice, you can make it work. Leave any of your own thoughts and advice below. Thanks for reading!


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