If you’re running a business, your goods or services suppliers are unarguably an integral part of your success. So it is important to cultivate good relationships with the best ones to keep your product stock healthy and your customers happy.
Keeping your suppliers happy is the key to carrying your business through challenging times and tight delivery deadlines, as well as applying stock management best practices that can really give you a competitive edge. So you need to be loyal to your top suppliers.
The following are some of the ways in which suppliers can impact your business:
Customer satisfaction: timely deliveries and quick turnaround times are the key to minimize your inventory, reduce the risk of being out of stock and making customers happy. Supplier reliability and functionality will have a significant impact on how quickly customers receive products and the reputation you build with them as a company.
New products: suppliers can play a major role in new product launches. They are likely to know what sells more than you do; they’ll always be working to make changes and innovate to make sure their products stay on top in terms of competitiveness. Top suppliers will understand your business and suggest new products to sell.
Additional financing: if your company makes timely payments to suppliers, you can ask them for additional financing during your growth phase. Supplier can finance the business in terms of extended due date on new purchases, investment in the business, or postponed debt.
Building strong relationship with suppliers
Now that the foundation of how crucial suppliers can be to your business, here are some of the things you could do to develop and maintain a strong relationship with them:
Pay suppliers on time
While you can always negotiate favorable payment terms for goods and services, always try to pay suppliers on time. One of the barriers in this regard is the inefficient and improper handling of invoices received from suppliers. This can raise issues such as payments made to the wrong supplier, suppliers not receiving payments on time and delay in product deliveries.
Manual handling of invoices can raise such issues, but businesses can streamline the process by automating and simplifying the invoice management process. Business owners can learn more about Chrome River and other similar solutions that offer a streamlined and configurable computing interface to quickly accepted check requests and invoices throughout the organization. This can be a viable solution to handle all the emailed and paper invoices from suppliers and automating the task of organizing them in proper order and sending them to relevant departments.
Talk regularly with suppliers
Talking regularly with suppliers allow for two-way communication, which can go a long way in building strong relationships. Whenever possible, try to make face-to-face contact by conducting meetings with suppliers or their representatives directly.
Try to meet suppliers as much as you can. Unless there is a compelling reason not to, try to get face-time on video conferences and other similar programs and keep them abreast of any significant changes you may like. Don’t shy away from inviting them to casual company events.
Keep suppliers updated
Keep suppliers updated about what’s going on in your company. They’ll feel more as a part of your business this way. Tell them about changes in new products, special promotions and even key personnel.
You could also share how the products are going down with customers, and any feedback received from customers. In some instances, suppliers may suggest product changes that can increase your sales, or help you find new customers.
Image Source: SCM – Supply Chain Management
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