Take a moment and think about your business. In particular think about the way it operates, the way you manage customer service and now think about how you manage your supplier relationships. Is it a smooth process or are there aspects that need attention?

An integral part of ensuring your business runs smoothly is managing your suppliers well and efficiently. If you sell or distribute a product that is made up by various components, then there is no product without each and every part that makes up the whole. In order to get those parts, you need suppliers. What are Supplier Relationships and why is it important? Let’s go back to basics. Supplier relationships mean building a bond with another organisation who provides you with the necessary stock in return for payment. Sounds simple enough but being able to manage these relationships is key to your business running smoothly. It’s important to have suppliers that provide you with the products or materials you need to meet your customer demands (whether it’s specific materials or fast turnaround). Without them, you will have trouble sustaining a business. So what is deemed as a good supplier relationship? Receive your stock on time? Is that the only important factor? Believe it or not receiving stock on time is not the only thing that constitutes a good relationship. Like anything, having trust, respect and a being personable can result in your suppliers helping you out in times of need. Building a strong relationship can result in:

  • Reduced costs – continually buying in bulk can encourage a discount.

  • Accessing new stock prior to release to a wider audience.

  • Increased efficiency – eager to satisfy your needs.

  • Your supplier might eventually require your services – They could become your customer.

However you need the time to build these relationships… How automation and processes enables better management So let’s say you have great relationships with your suppliers or you’re working on them being great, so how do you then ensure this continues? Automation is key. Implementing business systems that can automate your processes will enable you to pay your accounts without delay, enable your supplier to self-manage their own accounts as well as streamline order procurement. Having a solution that takes care of all the time-consuming tasks allows you to get back to what’s important – that’s working on your business, your customers and ensuring you have the time to build solid relationships with your suppliers.