Many businesses strive to maintain good relationships with customers, however unfortunately forget their supplier relationships. They neglect suppliers and do not bother to establish good relations with them. Suppliers are a fundamental part of your enterprise that you should not overlook. Developing a great supplier relationship is a crucial part of business survival and success. It has positive outcomes for smooth-sailing production, timely delivery of quality materials, customer satisfaction, and cost savings. Also, suppliers offer you business intelligence and trade secrets. Below are seven tips for establishing great supplier relationships.
1. Consistent Communication
Any healthy relationship is founded on effective and constant communication. Invest in consistent communication with your suppliers to form a ground for establishing great relations. Create channels for communication and engage in two-way communication.
Keep in touch with the supplier. Do not be the kind of business that communicates with suppliers only when things go wrong or when making demands. When issues arise, tackle them in a timely and professional manner.
2. Your suppliers are not just vendors
Many organizations treat suppliers as mere vendors. They act like they own the suppliers and the suppliers should be at their service. However, your suppliers should be your partners who work for mutual good. Make sure your suppliers feel like a part of your business. It is vital to inform suppliers of what’s going on in your company to create a good relationship with them. Notify your suppliers of new products, changes in key personnel, any special offers and promotions, and change in strategies. Importantly, listen to your suppliers and address their concerns.
3. Evaluate risks
Develop a habit of examining the risk of dealing with a supplier. Ask the supplier about their expertise, years in business, crisis management mechanisms, previous work, and of course, a few references. From the data they provide, determine if they have the right experience, capacity to handle your orders, and credibility. By examining the risk of dealing with a supplier, you can mitigate risks and plan for the unexpected.
4. Be a great customer
Take a minute to think about the things you love about your good customers. Maybe it’s their timely payments, feedback, loyalty, advocacy, or appreciation. In the same way, be a great customer to your suppliers. Don’t let them send you many payment reminders if you don’t do it to your good customers. Additionally, always appreciate, provide feedback, and be loyal to your suppliers. The benefits you reap from a friendly supplier relationship will be priceless.
5. Be mindful of cultural differences
The world is increasingly becoming global a village, and people of different cultures, regions, and religions are interacting in business. In your organization, you may work with a global supplier from a different geographical location, culture, or religion. It is wise to research on the supplier’s culture to build a good rapport.
6. Understand your suppliers
A good number of businesses do not take time and effort to understand their suppliers. Developing a professional relationship with a supplier is easier when you understand them. Also, your working relationship becomes effective. Take time to understand your supplier’s business; its investors, mission, objectives, and how it operates. Make their work easier by making payments on time, sending orders promptly, and providing them with the necessary resources to serve you. When you understand the supplier, you can align your company with theirs and grow together.
7. Invest in technology
Technology makes supplier relationship management easy. It streamlines transactions between you and your suppliers. You can invest in ISS Group’s procurement solutions that have numerous benefits such as improving process controls, eliminating tiresome paperwork, increasing employee productivity, cost savings, and reducing process cycle time. The procurement solutions also establish trust and transparency between businesses and their suppliers.
Developing a great relationship with your suppliers should be as important as creating a good relationship with customers. It is not complicated to establish a meaningful relationship with your supplier; just follow these tips and watch your business grow. A great supplier relationship is worth every effort because suppliers are hidden growth assets.
For more information about ISS Group’s Supplier Relationship Improvement solutions, please contact us for a 15-minute overview demonstration to learn more about how we can help….!