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6 Simple Steps to Build Lasting Relationships with your Suppliers

By Linda Ashok
In Supplier Management
Jun 13th, 2018

You wake up in the morning and get ready for your work. You are hoping for a really nice and a sumptuous  breakfast, so you rush. At the dinner table, you see the fruits are all brown and you look disappointingly at your help. He tells you that the fresh fruit suppliera local farmer, he didn’t come for a few days. You try calling him, but he does not respond. You email him, but receive no response. You are in a flux wondering what to do and unsure of finding a new fresh fruit supplier. Going to the grocery or calling grocery home is your only option, but that does not bring you a straight-from-the-farm deal that is both organic and inexpensive.
If you get the drift of the story, you know how bad it feels when a communication breaks. As a procurement authority, now think of your suppliers trying to get in touch with you and are failing to communicate with your team. While it is true that you cannot reply to all new supplier queries but for suppliers who are already in your business, to be in touch with them. You can also have an automated system that’ll keep your new and old suppliers engaged which will be really helpful for your business. It shouldn’t be like your team is totally disconnected once you have sourced your material/services and until the next deal, you are completely detached.
So here are the six simple steps to building lasting relationships with your supplier/s-

1. Requested for a quote, don’t miss on acknowledging it.

Bidding for tenders is an arduous process. If a supplier has shown interest to take part in that, more than his/her own business interest, it is about the respect they have for your organization which means a great deal. So ensuring you respond to the quotes will help them make the  right move. Inform your tendering unit on the decision making timelines so they can communicate to the suppliers when notice is due.

2. Cannot qualify a supplier, let them be in the know.

Once you have selected your supplier, do not ignore the rest. Even if it is disappointing to inform of  non-selection, but you will know the suppliers really appreciate that. Today a supplier who may be a great selection for you may not be worth your business in the future. So letting them know a possibility of a business in the future keeps the pool of rejected suppliers afloat.

3. Unsatisfied with a supplier, train them than terminating them straightaway.

If you are unhappy with performance of your existing supplier, don’t just lay them off without notice. As a responsible organization, you can always educate your supplier on how to rectify their miss and provide better. This will foster mutual trust. And who knows if an open discussion can help you rectify a shortfall from your end which is actually not because of the supplier.

4. Never miss a payment. It costs the supplier and your business together.

You may have heard of Employer of Choice. Have you heard of Business of Choice? Paying bills on time and on agreed upon time-frame helps you build that reputation. The more you have reputation a reputation of a great payer, the more likely you are to attract great and quality suppliers. So ensuring this financial aspect will cement trust that will shelter you during rough times.

5. Regard your  suppliers as knowledgeable resource.

It is true that there are times when your suppliers can be bizarre and erratic and not enough professional. This should not overwhelm you and trigger your to misbehave. Because once they have a reason for disappointment, they might not remain as sincere and concerned about your business. Many suppliers have on-ground information of what’s happening in the market and at the sourcing venue and being in good relation will be advantageous for your business.

6. Have thoughts on how you can improve your supplier experience? Try this out.

To build long term, win/win relationships, introduce supplier connect. Invite them for meetings and talk to them about how they have been helpful so far, how you expect them to continue delivering even better, communicate with them your vision. Smart suppliers love being included and appreciated. Your enthusiasm will attract them to scale their performance and eventually benefit your business.

These seven ways are not the final list. While you may ensure your procurement team takes all these for consideration, you may have some more innovative ideas coming out of your team. Include them to implementation and it will be an encouraging experience for all. It is time, that leading procurement organizations move beyond transnational relationships and cultivate humanitarian values that will form a holistic shield to the business struggling against myriad competitions already. Remember, happy suppliers will always be motivated to think at the best interest of your organization.

About "" Has 30 Posts

Linda Ashok is a content, communications, & branding professional with 12 years of work experience in BPO, Banking, Payroll, Robo-Advisory, Internal Communications and Social Media. She is interested in how businesses perform at the intersection of Big Data, AI, IoT, and other emerging technologies.

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