The success of a business begins with its suppliers. A restaurant, for example, is the sum of different components—menu, staff, food quality, presentation, and customer service. These components are born from a strong relationship with a supplier. Who prints the menu? Who supplies the ingredients for the food? Who hires the people for you? Who manages customer complaints? Almost every component of your business needs suppliers.
In a warehouse business, for example, you would need a supplier for IBC bunded pallets. It’s not a one-time transaction. You’d have to buy new pallets in the future as you try to grow your business. When something breaks down, you need to call your supplier so that they can fix or repair it.
So what makes for a good client-supplier relationship? How can you maintain a good relationship with your suppliers without compromising the way you’re managing the business? How do you keep that relationship strong even when things get out of hand?
Building trust and respect takes time. You need to communicate your demands, needs, and concerns. With exceptional communication—and as long as both parties agree to communicate well—anything is possible. Concerns will be addressed efficiently. Demands will be met. The needs of your business will be fulfilled. Make it a point to communicate regularly with your suppliers. You don’t need to meet face-to-face (though, in some instances, that’s needed), but you can communicate via phone calls, texts, and other methods.
Develop a System
At the beginning of the relationship, establish a system that works for both parties. When are supplies going to be delivered? Where will it be delivered? From what location of the supplier’s warehouse will the supplies be coming from? Having a system in place will avoid any misgivings the clients might have about the timely delivery of supplies. The suppliers will also be assured that they will meet their quotas based on your orders.
Make a Mutually Beneficial Relationship
A supplier-client relationship should be mutually beneficial. The clients should receive the supplies they need to make their products. The suppliers should meet their monthly quotas. If the relationship starts to be one-sided, that’s when misunderstandings and disagreements will arise. For example, if you are going to ask for discounts, make sure that you aren’t asking for too much.
Pay on Time
The number one conflict that most relationships go through is money problems. When the client does not pay on time, that’s a problem for the suppliers. It will affect future transactions. The suppliers might suddenly demand a down payment to make sure that they are going to get paid at least half on time. They might have a new policy where the clients get penalized for not paying on the due date. These will impact the relationship, wherein the clients and suppliers both don’t trust each other.
You should nurture relationships that will help grow your business. It is important to understand that even in businesses, “no man is an island.” You cannot grow your business without the help of your suppliers, staff, and customers. There’s no way you can be successful in any of your endeavors if you don’t know how to maintain good relationships with your suppliers and employees.