All companies have to work with suppliers who provide them with the vital goods and inputs that they need to carry out their operations. But maintaining cordial relationships with them can be a challenge.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at the best way to deal with your suppliers so that you can continue to receive an excellent service in the future.
Know Your Contractual Obligations
Suppliers are businesses, just like you. So, they expect you to abide by the terms set out in the contract. If you don’t understand where you stand in your relationship with your suppliers, you need to stop and immediately review the situation. In a positive relationship, both parties need to uphold their obligations. Failing to do so can mean a rapid end to your current setup and potential legal action.
Monitoring is a vital part of maintaining good relationships with suppliers. Ideally, you want to be one step ahead of the game. You need to be able to identify risks before they have a meaningful or tangible effect on your business. This approach helps to keep the costs of mistakes low and makes it easy to course correct.
Order Through A Marketplace
It can be difficult for small companies to source the products that they need in the quantities they desire from individual suppliers. Manufacturers and vendors are often unwilling to provide low volumes, even if that’s all your business can sell.
Using a wholesale marketplace, therefore, could be a good idea. Here a third-party orders products in bulk, and then you just select which you require. It reduces risks and helps to improve your relationships with your supplier because everybody gets what they want.
Use Professional Advice
Keeping things cordial with your suppliers can be a massive challenge, especially if you’re new to an industry. Smart companies, therefore, approach professionals who consult with them on how to best approach a supplier relationship. In some ways, it is an art form – and one that you must get right if you want to provide your customers with an excellent service in the future.
Bullying suppliers is never a good idea. You don’t want to wind up like one of the big grocers, universally hated by the people who supply you. Instead, you need to recognize that they are a business, just like you, and they have needs too.
Where possible, be understanding, and fair. Be mindful of extenuating circumstances, such as the current coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to allow extra time for other parties to fulfill their contracts if factors outside of their control are preventing them from doing so right now.
Communicate With Them Regularly
Communication is at the heart of all good relationships, but particularly when it comes to suppliers. Communication should occur both over the phone and face-to-face. You want to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands their responsibility. Plus, speaking in person gives you the chance to sell yourself.