How To Develop Strong Relationships With Your Suppliers
If you sell products, then you have suppliers. Having a strong, stable relationship with your suppliers is key to your own success, because if your relationship starts to sour, your supplier can back out entirely and leave you in the cold. Suppliers are not just businesses you buy from. Your ongoing relationship guarantees that your relationship dips into business partners and yes, you do have a say in their operations and vice versa.
When you develop a strong relationship, you build on trust and mutual respect. You can help steer your suppliers into a direction you need them to, and in turn, they can expect consistent payments on time. You can work with them to overcome challenges, and even suggest options that suit your business best. You can’t do any of that, however, unless you follow this guide and build a solid foundation with each and every one of your suppliers:
Adopt a Circular Approach from the Start
A great way to reduce waste is to sell it. Scraps that weren’t used in the product, returned pieces, and so on – these can be a loss, or they can be a possibility. The first place you should look in each case is your supplier. Fabric can be broken down and remade, plastics melted back into shape, and so on. Your supplier might be interested in buying back your scraps at a small cost, so long as it is cheaper than raw materials. This is known as a circular approach.
Work with Them as Partners
If you want to see your suppliers work with a different material or perhaps change a small part of their business, then talk with them. Treat them like a partner and work out how you can both benefit. You might want your supplier to work towards a green certification so that you can better your own sustainability efforts to attract and retain your customers. You might want to work with new material, and so on. Work with them and see what they are willing to do.
Regardless of how close you are with your suppliers, relations will turn bad fast if payments are consistently late or undependable. That is why you need to automate your supplier payment operations. When you are known for always paying on time, your supplier can rely on you, and in turn, be more open to suggestions and finding solutions to your problems.
Automate New Inventory Requests
Forget pushing your supplier to reach a tight deadline ever again and instead automate inventory requests. Simply use the right program and have your inventory team update the system whenever they use a product. When product threshold reaches below a certain number, you can then set up a task to automatically order more. In return, your suppliers have a comfortable deadline to reach and you never actually run out.
Revaluate Your Relationship Regularly
Even the best relationship needs to be audited regularly. It is important to know who your supplier’s suppliers are, for example, if you want to maintain quality control over your products. A change in management, laws, or circumstances could mean corners are cut and your business suffers, so regularly go through with your supplier to quality check and price check.
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