The customer is the lifeblood of any company. Without a solid base of customers no company can survive for long on single-purchase clients. This may be true but there is another relationship with an external entity that is vital to the running of a company of any kind, and that is with the supplier. A company is always reliant on its supplier to ensure that there is a steady supply of materials; goods and services that help it run on a daily basis. If a relationship with a supplier breaks down, or deteriorates over time it can have a seriously damaging effect on the performance of a company due to disruption and loss of time and money.
Without the processes in place to ensure a sustainable and stable relationship with your suppliers, you could be faced with a problem that takes too long to solve at some point in the future.
There are several sticking points when it comes to supplier relationships, and much of them are the same that a company comes across with its own customers. Remember, that you want to treat your customers the way that you would like to be treated, and it works both ways. You are your supplier’s customer, so act in an appropriate manner that helps to work towards a long-term healthy relationship, and not a short-term fix that can be cast aside at any moment for something fresh and new.
Developing and implementing a robust and smooth supplier management protocol should be one of the primary aims of a new business that is reliant on goods and services from suppliers in order to maintain a high level of performance for its customers. Building a strong and friendly relationship with your suppliers is vital as in the future you might be even more reliant on a favourable response than you currently are.
There are always times in the life cycle of a growing company where there are tough targets to meet and tight deadlines to make. In these instances, and at times where your company is going through a rocky patch in terms of meeting targets and maintaining high levels of employee performance and customer satisfaction, having a strong relationship with your supplier could be key. They can help you find resolutions to problems and to dig out of trouble with minimal disruption to the service your customers are receiving from you.
Your supplier management process should be at the forefront of your mind as a company owner, with excellent service delivered to your suppliers in the same way that you deliver customer service to your clients. It is imperative that supply chains are maintained and that there are open and clear lines of communication at all times, even in the toughest of scenarios. Healthy supplier relationships are key to building a strong foundation for your business that will help it grow steadily over time and be ready to face any problem. There are professional services that can help you design and implement a supplier management programme.