How to Get the Best Out of Your Suppliers


Running a business is a delicate balance between managing your staff, meeting the expectations of your customers and dealing with your suppliers. When everything is running smoothly, they are all working together to create a growing business. However, if there is a problem with any area such as your suppliers, then you need to get the issues addressed as soon as possible. Learning to get the best out of your suppliers, or negotiating a new deal with them is something that will give you a solid base upon which to build your business.

Communication is Everything

With any business relationship, the most important thing is good communication. The more you can talk and discuss any problems, the easier it is to get them resolved. If you are just starting with a new supplier, then establishing good channels of communication at the beginning will reduce any misunderstanding and stress later.

Try to Be Flexible

Sometimes in business, you need to allow for a little flexibility. Although you have orders to process and products to make, you need to understand that your suppliers are running a business as well. If they are having issues obtaining material for you, then try ways that you can work around it. The same applies to new suppliers, if you go into the negotiations with a rigid deal, you might quickly see difficulties. Have many options and scenarios worked out in advance.

Establish Effective Deadlines and Procedures

With any negotiation, there must be standards and expectations set in advance. If you can agree on deadlines, in the beginning, you will both know what to expect when you begin to work together. You also need to establish procedures for recalls, delays and the payment of invoices. You need to be realistic about your expectations for the supplier, if they are a small company that can only produce a few orders a week, you will need to allow for that. In the same context, your suppliers also need to tell you their expectations about the payment of invoices.

Arranging Ordering Processes

There are many ways that you can send an order to your suppliers such as email, phone call or online. However, if you try to establish a good method that works, it will not only save time, but it will also help to eliminate any errors. If you are dealing with established companies such as to supply wire for tying together recycled goods, they offer a seamless and quick ordering system. You don’t want there to be too many different procedures for each supplier as that will waste time. Try to get them all working to the same procedure or at least a similar way of working.

Suppliers and their clients have a symbiotic relationship that needs to be worked on to get it right. If you can strike up a good relationship with your suppliers, then that puts you in a strong position within your market and with your competitors.

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