It’s Good to Talk: Developing Good Business Relationships With Suppliers

Every type of business needs a good supply chain to be able to thrive and meet demand which is why it makes a lot of sense to try and craft the best possible relationship with your key suppliers.

Here are some ideas and tips on how to create and nurture that mutually beneficial relationship, such as why suppliers are so important to your business, an obvious but vital if you are going to get on, plus a look at why it is also good to listen as well as talk.

Good reasons for getting on

The way we do business with each other has changed considerably since the introduction of the internet and you can often find online everything that you need at a good price.

The fundamentals of creating a reliable supply chain haven’t changed that much though, irrespective of whether you are dealing with a supplier online, via email, or over the phone, there are still many advantages to maintaining a strong relationship with key suppliers.

Good suppliers are an integral aspect of your daily functionality and ability to grow.

For example, if you know that you can rely on a supplier to deliver a quality product in a timely manner to you that allows you to make promises to your customers that you know you can keep.

A good supplier relationship is a two-way street and if you are a good customer to them with regular orders and pay your bills in a timely manner, they are going to do their best to look after you and work with you to meet your needs.

The best way to get on

Supplier relationships normally turn sour because of money issues and number one on the list is late or non-payment of invoices.

If you want to develop trust and confidence with a key supplier the best way to do that is to pay their bills on time.

Many wholesalers and product manufacturers are forced to work on some very thin profit margins in order to remain competitive. If they are giving you a good deal on the price it will be based on the basis that you will be settling the invoice when it becomes due.

Cash flow is vital to any business and you can’t expect your supplier relationship to blossom if you don’t commit to paying them within agreed terms. Once that level of credibility is established you can often discuss and agree on any potential delay or problem without falling out, because that bond of trust has developed between you.

Good communication

You might be the customer and placing orders with the supplier but it often pays to find out what they need from you to make things easier and in order to avoid any miscommunication.

Once you know what documentation they require and what format is easiest for them to receive your orders, that will help speed up the process and allow the goods to be packed and shipped in the shortest time possible.

It is also never a good idea to play the blame game with your supplier.

Things can and do go wrong from time to time. The best way of resolving the situation is to work with them to find a viable solution so that you can put it behind you and move on again with the relationship.