6 Simple Steps to Build Lasting Relationships with your Suppliers
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.