4 steps to improve your relationship with your suppliers
Finding a good supplier is no easy task. Sometimes the company searches and searches for months until it finds a financially viable option, with high levels of service quality, that can truly be a good addition to the team of partners.
However, many companies are disappointed with the supplier’s performance over time, even though the first survey and evaluation were very positive. This can occur because the relationship with suppliers is not being conducted as it should.
To ensure a lasting relationship while maintaining quality standards, it is essential to look for some critical points! Discover in 5 steps how to improve your relationship with your company’s suppliers:
1. Provide constant feedbacks
Evaluate and monitor the performance of your suppliers constantly. You must evaluate all of the work, but you can share the results with the supplier after each delivery, or in case of multiple orders, at the end of a semester or year. Evaluate the quality of the service provided, the quantity of products rejected on delivery, whether deadlines have been met, whether the transportation has been effected as agreed in the contract, and other points that you deem important.
Grade your suppliers and pass these reports on to them. By doing so, they can better understand how your customer experience was, how they can improve the service, what was positive and negative about it, and even find problems in their work processes and guidelines.
Take advantage of the assessments to see if your processes do not interfere with or bureaucratize the work of the suppliers, and both parties win out on that relationship!
2. Encourage communication
From the first contact, it is important to establish a strong link of communication with suppliers. Define by what channels the supplier should contact you in case of problems, changes, unforeseen events, doubts and other types of contact, and be attentive to respond to these requests.
In addition to keeping in touch with current suppliers, to track the progress of orders, it is also interesting to try to stay on the radar of old suppliers, who do not have active contracts at the moment. After all, you never know when you might need their services.
Stay aware of the company’s activities, researching on social networks and media, or looking directly at the source through informal contacts with employees. Thus, those suppliers will have a well-built memory of your company, and will be available when a need arises.
3. Automate processes
Bureaucracy is the great evil of corporations today. Each new request means filling in files, reports, spreadsheets, tables, invoices, orders, labels, endless papers. Transferring these papers to a computer simply does not facilitate or optimize the process, it just changes the type of work to be done.
Automating processes means adopting tools that facilitate and optimize the organization and consultation of the most important data of each request. There are numerous management software options that allow you to view all vendors, their activities, analyze each one’s performance, and even predict the threats they offer to your business.
Choose the best software for your needs and stop losing employees buried in paperwork!
4. Be transparent and honest
Share with your suppliers all kinds of information, like the internal purchase processes of your company. You can invite them to get to know the operation closely on a visit to your company, and so introduce them to how you make the magic happen. In this way, the supplier can tailor some of the steps in their process to facilitate integration with your operation, and even suggest improvements for you.
In addition, it is important to know how to criticize the service provided by a supplier. Transparent management takes into account all the variables involved in the situation, for example, if a delivery was carried out late due to problems exclusively from the supplier, it is important to express your dissatisfaction with the breach of the agreement.
To the same extent, it is equally important to recognize when your company is to blame for some delay or delivery error, and to value when the service unites the best price, delivery on time and under the agreed conditions. A well valued supplier works harder, commits, and goes the extra mile to make sure you get the best service.
The evaluations we cited on the first item in this article are great to do this task, and you can even improve them by adding comments and notes to the grades before passing them on to the suppliers.
A good relationship with suppliers is key to achieving success in your business. By maintaining a good policy with your partners, you can make long-term planning involving your suppliers because you can trust that the relationship will last. Thus, you can schedule future purchases of frequently used materials, ensuring a lower price and good payment terms.
It is also important to note that building good relationships with suppliers is a great way to build a positive reputation in the marketplace. Being the company that everyone wants to trade with is the dream of any company, and devoting a little attention to the needs of suppliers can be the key to winning that title!
A partnership relation with suppliers involves sharing goals and dreams. If you can get your suppliers to believe in your vision, relationship risk factors are virtually eliminated. Engage in partnerships with companies that share your values, your vision of the world, your way of doing business.
This ensures a team of partners ready to help you grow and achieve your goals through high quality work! Integration is the key word for lasting results in any business, so do not be afraid to open your doors to suppliers!