One of the foundations of a good business is positive relationships with its supply partners. If you can manage your costs while maintaining service excellence from your suppliers, you have a good chance of prospering in business.
Here are my seven tips to building excellent relationships with your supply chain partners:
- I recommend that you meet your suppliers face to face regularly, in their own offices. A face to face meeting is the best way to build a personal relationship with them, and it also lets you see how they manage their own business and facilities. This can be a good indicator of how they might represent you when they visit your client’s facilities.
- Take time to understand what their aspirations are, are they looking to grow, are they committed to personal development, do they care about the same business values as you do? Aligning the ethics and values of your supply chain to your own is key to forging a strong partnership delivering the same quality of service.
- Keep in regular contact and make sure they are aware of your current pipeline, this gives the supplier plenty of notice and a clear understanding of future workload allowing them to plan alongside you. They almost certainly have the same challenges as you do when it comes to mobilisation.
- Give your suppliers help by placing orders in good time, making sure accurate information is given and any deadlines are made clear.
- Always pay on time, be good to your word when agreeing payment dates. If you have any queries make the suppliers aware early so an amicable conclusion can be found.
- Be open with new opportunities, a good relationship should work both ways. If you are continually giving a supplier a service, a heads up on an opportunity is always a good return. Make sure they are aware of all of the services you deliver.
- Make sure any complaint is dealt with and investigated, don’t just assume what you are told is correct, you will always find there are two sides to a story. Whatever the outcome you both need to agree on the outcome and make sure this can be delivered.
The best way to remember this is, a supply partner relationship should be treated like a friendship, although you will sometimes disagree, deep down you always have each other’s best interests at heart.
Although should the time come and the relationship comes to an end always remember “good friends are hard to find”.
We have an ethos at Anabas which expresses this, and it is about delivering service to a level where others would recommend us, we want our supply chain to think the same way. We call it #AnabasAdvocacy
Image: Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_faithie’>faithie / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
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