One of the most important aspects of running a business has to do with how you manage your suppliers. Remember that a supplier isn’t just “a company that you hired to boss around.” A supplier is an entity that you need to establish a successful and beneficial relationship with in order for both organizations to achieve all of their goals. As a business owner or manager, there are a few key methods you can use to more effectively manage your suppliers in the future.
One important quality of managing your suppliers is regular and constant communication. Remember your suppliers aren’t mind readers. If there is some aspect of your business relationship you feel they could be doing better, you need to let them know. If your goals for the next quarter have suddenly changed, you need to make sure they’re aware of that fact as soon as possible. You’ll also want to regularly get in touch to help keep your supplier on the same page and to make sure they’re keeping up with your needs, especially if you’re in the type of industry where those needs are likely to change on a regular basis. One of the cornerstones of any type of relationship is mutual understanding. The only way you’re going to be able to maintain mutual understanding between your business and your supplier at all times is through regular communication practices.
Putting objectives in place
Another important step you can take to better manage your relationship with your supplier has to do with putting objectives in place at the beginning of the production process. If you have a very specific goal in mind, you need to make sure your supplier is aware of it. Doing so will help keep them on the same page with regards to exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. If you decide to update or change those objectives in any way based on recent trends, you’ll also need to make sure your suppliers have that information as soon as possible. Putting objectives in place will define a number of factors including minimum threshold requirements you may have, clearly defined measures you’ll use moving forward and more.
You’ll also want to make sure the objectives you put in place for your supplier can actually be met. Be realistic with this part of the process or you’re only setting your supplier (and ultimately your business) up for disappointment in the future.
Regular meetings are another way to insure effective communication between your business and your supplier. By regularly having an in-person meeting with a representative from your supplier, you’ll be able to more easily communicate certain goals and objectives that can be difficult to get across in text. Communicating through a combination of meetings and written correspondence will help make sure that everybody stays on the same page at all times.
Putting things in writing
One of the most important things you can do when it comes to managing your relationship with your supplier involves putting things in writing. For the business that operates in multiple locations there are professional document sharing solutions to help manage your project and relationships effectively. Doing so is an easy and efficient way to avoid confusion and to make sure everyone has an idea of what goals you are collectively working towards. If any questions arise, your supplier will always have a hard copy of a document they can refer back to. They’ll always be able to clearly know what your objectives are without necessarily getting in direct contact.
Make sure you’re focused on your supplier’s needs, alongside yours
Just as your business has its own unique requirements which need attending to, so will your supplier. Keep in mind that many suppliers depend on the prompt payment of invoices to move forward with their own business models. Even one delayed payment can make things significantly more difficult for that business moving forward. Always try to see things from the perspective of your supplier and do whatever you can to make things as easy for them as possible. The supplier, in turn, will likely afford you the same courtesy and it will create a much better relationship that is mutually beneficial moving forward.Comments