Managing Your Working Relationship With a Supplier

As with any business deal, the relationship you have with your manufacturing plant needs to be nurtured to ensure it’s both long-lasting and beneficial for both parties. This isn’t simply about being nice either, it’s in your company’s interests to build strong relationships. While it doesn’t guarantee benefits like more favourable rates, faster service, and the chance to gain knowledge in a related industry, you’re prospects will certainly be improved if you can remain on good terms.

Building customer-supplier relationship

Business owners who take suppliers for granted can quickly find themselves last on the list when it comes to inventory arrivals. This not only leads to a breakdown in communication, but the extra stress it brings will be a major detriment to your business. To counteract this, you need to consider how you’re holding up your end of the agreement.

Preparation

If you partner with a logistics specialist to provide you with warehouse space, make sure that the plan is designed to fit your company’s needs. Flexible storage that allows for scalability is crucial for a SMB that may want to expand during a period of growth. Similarly, when operating in a tough economy, the option to downsize can make or break a business.

Another advantage of dealing with a specialist is that they’ll have the best equipment available. Handling your own warehousing solutions runs the risk of processing speeds being affected by inefficient or substandard equipment. This will not only limit the amount of orders your employees are able to handle on any given day, but it also increases the chances of you damaging your own inventory. Consider working with a specialist like Howard Tenens Logistics so that you won’t have to worry about this, as they will have access to a large and diverse range of all the equipment they’ll need.

Communication

Just as you should try to avoid any communication issues with your own customers, you need to do the same with your suppliers. Be sure that your expectations are both in line with each other. If you own a business that’s gearing up for it’s peak season, it’s understandable that you’d be stressed in the run-up. However, you need to remember that your supplier has other customers who may be in the same situation as well. Never let your personal situation affect your business relationships. Review your projections with your suppliers so that you both have a better understanding of each other’s situations at any given time.

You should also inform your suppliers of any major changes in your organisation that could affect them. By keeping them updated on future product plans you may even be able to leverage their knowledge to possibly improve your business strategy. Any extra knowledge about how your suppliers run their business will be very valuable to you.

Any relationship is a two-way street, and it’s no different in business. Make sure each party is fulfilling their side of the agreement to ensure all operations run smoothly. The extra effort it takes will pay off in the long-run.

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1 Comment Managing Your Working Relationship With a Supplier

  1. Martin Lindeskog

    Ivan: As a former purchaser with plenty of experience of building a working relationships with suppliers, this post is music to my ears! 🙂 My hope is that the supply management professionals will start to incorporate social media activities in their work…

    Reply

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