Suppliers are an important part of the business because they help provide the resources you need in order to help sell whatever products or services you dish out to your customers. The relationship you have with those suppliers is important to maintain, and there should always be an effort to keep it so. Here are some tips to help build better relationships with suppliers.

Keep It Formal

Firstly, like any business relationship, there’s always a degree of formality. For some clients, you might have a closer relationship that’s more relaxed and less formal in manner. However, when it comes to your suppliers, they’re someone who is simply providing a service to you and so you almost want to try and be overly formal in terms of your partnership with them. This means that they will always be wanting to keep you satisfied with the service you’re providing. When it comes to having a more relaxed relationship with suppliers, that can lead to you being less of a priority, and that might not be good for your business. It could also cause more mistakes to occur, and it can be difficult to pin the blame when your relationship is in a place where you don’t want to ruin it due to making friends. Remember to keep it formal where you can so that you’re never blurring those lines.

Make Sure There’s Consistent Communication

Communication is very important with any relationship you’re building, and it’s certainly one that’s a two-way street. You can’t expect the supplier to always be in constant communication, but they should certainly be getting back to you within twenty-four hours of you sending an email. Sometimes, taking longer than the working day to respond is not good enough, and so you want to establish those ground rules when it comes to communication with your suppliers. You may also want to ensure you have an account manager so that you’re not having to constantly go through the main interface of your suppliers. Instead, you can get a direct response without having to wait so long. Maintaining communication is something you want to do on a daily or weekly basis, depending on how often you use them.

If you ever find that communication is lacking in some way, then it’s good to have multiple channels of communication from email to phone numbers. That way, should an urgent matter or emergency crop up, you have the ability to reach them whatever happens.

Always Have An Annual Review

Annual reviews are something you’d provide for your staff, and so it’s only right that you have them for your suppliers too. Your clients are likely to come to you for reviews, and so it’s important to do the same to those you’re paying to provide a service. Sometimes, you might need to have more regular reviews, depending on the growth of your business over the year and what is asked of the suppliers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. A review can be helpful in understanding what is working well and what isn’t. It can often be difficult to communicate these frustrations or concerns over the phone or via email and so meeting in person is always very beneficial. Suppliers might want to take you out to dinner, but if you want it to be a more professional discussion, it’s worth holding it in a meeting room.

Whether you’re getting Air & Liquid Cooled Yanmar Industrial Engines or they’re simply your stationery supplies for the office, it’s always good to have reviews with the companies or individuals you use. You might find that a lot of the issues or problems you had, get resolved as a result of these reviews. Be prepared that they may have some requests on their part to so it’s important to be open to adapting and changing where needed for them.

Remember You’re Not The Only Client

As much as it would be great to be exclusive to a supplier, that’s not always the case. For the most part, you’re not the only client that the supplier has, and it’s important to remember that. You can make demands and set deadlines where necessary, but sometimes there might be some periods of the working year where these suppliers get busy. You have to be willing to make accommodations and have a little wiggle room for them, particularly during busier times. Of course, if they cannot meet your requirements then it might be time to look elsewhere, but for the most part, suppliers won’t want to lose you so easily. Adapt for them where you can, and they’ll do the same for you when you need it. But remember, you’re not the only one that they might be dealing with on a daily basis.

Man and Woman Near Table

Complain When It’s Necessary

Complaining is important because it can be necessary sometimes. Delays can be frustrating, and they can have a damaging impact on anyone that you are supplying your products or services for. It can also be good to complain in order to move things along at a swifter pace. If you think it’s important to complain, then do it where you believe it’s good to do so. It’s not rare that businesses can often take their time and whether it’s due to a lack of effort on their part or simply prioritizing other things, it’s good to assert your frustrations where required to speed it up.

Know When To Move Suppliers

Not every supplier that you use as a business is going to be used forever. It’s important to know when you’ve outgrown a supplier or when they’re perhaps no longer of use for you. Hanging on to suppliers simply due to loyalty is not going to help you progress as a business, and it could end up hindering your efforts or losing you money if you’re not careful.

Building relationships with suppliers is important, so use these tips to help build on yours where it’s needed. Keep up with communications and know when complaining can help get things done quicker.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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