Supplier Management Tips – How to achieve and maintain a business relationship with your suppliers and vendors, which is both successful and efficient? Here are some useful tips to help you with:
1. Choose Slowly – Act Quickly
If you’re in a position of being able to choose between multiple vendors and suppliers, then you should definitely take the time to evaluate each one’s pros and cons. Carefully examine everything beginning with their response time all the way to their contract terms and costs. You should create an objective evaluation system for supplier management based on the items that are important at your company.
2. Communicate, Communicate, and then Communicate Again
The easiest way to ruin any business relationship is to fail to fix the problem associated with the lack of communication. Take the time to establish and maintain quality communication with your vendors and suppliers. It’s an easy thing to say, but it’s not so easy to accomplish. Create a knowledge base, web-based FAQ section on your site or deploy a Vendor Portal with Vendor Self-Service information querying.
3. Their Business Is Your Business
You don’t have to be a supplier or vendor 24/7 to understand their needs and a specific position. However, every now and then it would be great to walk in their shoes. Otherwise, you’ll inevitably end up in trouble, which you could’ve at least more easily participate with a different kind of approach.
4. Plan for the worst, but work for the best
Sometimes business works in quite unpredictable ways. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should become a prisoner of the worst case scenarios. Yet, if you can accept your business as such and don’t blame your vendors and suppliers automatically for all that can go wrong, then you’re already halfway to preventing these unwanted and costly situations.
5. Think Once About Rewards, But Think Twice About Penalties
It would be unreasonable to believe and expect that the business itself and your relationship with suppliers and vendors will run smoothly all the time. However, you should be aware that sometimes a simple “thank you” can be much more effective than a generous discount. On the other side, reaching out to penalties should be your last option.
6. Accountability Story Has Two Sides
If you fail to accept that all parties in your business process should equally respect the accountability principles, then this relationship is doomed to end up in disagreement, sooner or later. When it comes to building a healthy and successful business relationship with your suppliers and vendors there shouldn’t be room for any privileged positions. This goes for the suppliers as well as for yourself.
7. Invest and Improve Your Supplier Management Software
It’s always a good idea to invest in a Supplier Management Portal. You can certainly benefit from an opportunity to keep all of your supplier and vendor data in one place. At the same time, your suppliers and vendors will strongly appreciate the effectiveness of your system.
8. Respect Their Time By Paying On Time
Your supplier and vendors do a job, they should be rightfully and timely compensated for. When you execute your financial obligations on time you’re sending a clear message about your professionalism and, more importantly, respect you have for your suppliers and vendors.
9. Don’t change your vendors and suppliers, change your attitude
Being flexible in business can be a rewarding approach on so many levels. You can’t possibly predict and prevent all unwanted scenarios, but you can certainly minimize their damage with a more rational approach.
10. Supplier Management is a Bridge to Happiness
Ask for your supplier and vendor feedback. Don’t be afraid to admit your own mistakes. Insist on both official and unofficial meetings. What you’ll get as the end result is going to be worthy of all of your troubles and invested time.