In business, you will develop some hugely important relationships; few will be as important as those with your suppliers. It will be difficult to source all your materials for your company, so having suppliers and keeping them happy is a vital part of keeping your company afloat. Because of this important relationship, choosing and working with your vendors and suppliers can be vital to your business’s successes, so here are a few tips you can use to help you decide who to hire and how to keep a fully functioning business relationship.
If you have the luxury of being able to choose your suppliers, then make sure you pick them wisely. Look into the background of each company and determine the good and bad of each. No company is going to be the perfect fit for yours, but if there are many good points, and you can work on the rest, then that’s a great place to start. Try speaking to other companies that use that supplier to see what they think; you can also check out their website and social media to see how their followers feel about them. It might seem like a lot of research, but, overall, it will make for a better relationship.
Communication is Key
As with any relationship whether its business or personal, communication is the key element to making it a success. From the beginning, you need to establish the best way for you both to communicate with each other. It could be that you are both happy with emails, or perhaps you prefer calling. Whatever it may be, it must be easy for the both of you, or orders and other details could be missed. Part of effective communication is to be open and honest about your needs. You wouldn’t be able to provide a service to your customers if you have no information, so you cannot expect your suppliers to do the same. Be specific about deadlines and about the materials you need.
Think About Supplier Management Software
Part of good communication is knowing how and when to order and pay invoices. The easier and faster that can happen, the better it is for both companies. Many companies are now dealing with their suppliers through a supplier management system. It is designed so that your supplier can receive orders, see stock limits and even pay invoices; there are some software that can also forecast future demand. Your company can also track orders and pay invoices as well as add details about the order. It makes the ordering and payment much easier and faster.
Understand Your Supplier’s Limits
If you were looking for a right-angled gearbox drive from a company like http://andantex.com/product/anglgear/, then you need to make them aware of your needs. It is important to discuss what you want, so that the supplier can give you an idea of when they can provide them to you. Look at their website and see how they operate. If it was a small company with only a few workers, then you cannot expect them to supply a big order in just a couple of days.
Plan for the Worst
Even the best plans can fail occasionally, so if you can anticipate that and plan for it, then you can stay one step ahead. For example, perhaps a shipment that is coming from your supplier has been damaged or is delayed. Your supplier can do their best to rectify the situation, but it might be out of their hands. It is important that you have a plan to deal with this type of problem. Maybe you can always make sure you never run out of stock before reordering, or perhaps you can arrange a courier to pick up some additional materials directly from the supplier. It is important to work with your vendor or supplier when you are creating these plans so that they know what will happen.
Reward as Well as Penalize
You might have penalties written into your contract with your supplier. They are there to ensure that both parties are doing what is expected of them. However, there should also be some way to reward your supplier if they have gone above and beyond to help you. It might be that you send them a nice thank you note, or that you pay your invoice early. Some form of appreciation will go a long way to keeping your relationship prosperous. You can also consider a nice gift or reward at holidays or the end of the financial year. One way to do this is to have a sliding scale bonus depending on their performance.
Remember They are a Company Too
When you are working with outside companies such as suppliers, it can be easy to forget that they also have a business to run. While you may be looking for a cheaper solution and there is no harm in asking for discounts and deals, they may not be willing to make them for you if it doesn’t suit their business. The best way to conduct business with other businesses is to find a reliable supplier and build a relationship with them. Although they may be more expensive say, then a less reliable source, the extra money will certainly make a difference. Once you have been working together for awhile, then you can contact them and come to an arrangement that is more suitable for both companies. To get discounts, you need to be a valuable customer. After all, they also have to pay the bills, too.
Don’t Stop Working on Your Relationship
The best relationships take time and effort, so you need to give your suppliers the time they need to get used to your ways of working. Apart from the obvious things like communication, you also need to regularly analyze and improve your working practices to make the process smoother. It is a two-way street, however, so it is important that you listen to their concerns as much as they listen to yours. You must be prepared to adjust to meet their suggestions if they are reasonable, but you still need to be loyal to your customers.
Having reliable suppliers and vendors is vital to your company, not only does it help you make sales, but it also represents your products by the materials that are used. Your customers appreciate good quality, and this is the best way that you can provide it to them.