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Inside Business

The Art of Managing Supplier Relationships

Businessmen shaking hands close-upMajority of client-supplier dealings involve procurement departments that generally maintain professional or overly formal working relationships with vendors or suppliers. However, depending on the level of formality, this could hinder the trust and open communication required for a more solid and mutually beneficial working relationship.

In order to forge and foster valuable client-supplier relationships, procurement teams must sometimes know when to be more personal to strengthen ties with suppliers. Below are some tips.

Build Channels to Ensure Consistent Communication

Open and consistent communication would create transparency on both sides and help prevent errors such as missing purchase orders or inaccurate inventory. Utilising the proper tools and processes that offer quick and accurate communication, as well as easy sharing of information, can aid in facilitating smoother and more transparent communication.

Don’t be Stingy on Rewards

It’s perfectly fine to enact penalties when a supplier messes up or doesn’t deliver on his or her promises. Bearing this in mind, you also need to be generous with rewards when a supplier goes above and beyond his or her calling just to get the job done.

Rewards could be super simple such as thank you notes, prompt payments, or even personalised business gifts.

Keep in Mind That You’re Not the Only Client

You’re probably well aware of the work and effort needed for dealing with various customers and suppliers. This means that when dealing with suppliers; remember that you’re not their only customer, especially at times when your requests aren’t promptly met.

Always give them a chance to explain their side and rectify the situation.

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Play the Blame Game Rationally

Putting the blame strictly on one side during a dispute is fairly common. However, it’s vital that you try and allocate blame evenly and on everyone involved. This is where open communication and transparency really helps.

Distributing fault on both sides would communicate respect, and in turn, result in smoother and more consistent dealings.

Put simply, to ensure efficient processes and quality services, you need to have solid relationships with your suppliers. When you employ the proper tools, practise open and consistent communication, patience, and responsibility, you would no doubt create more meaningful and beneficial relationships with your suppliers.

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