How to build solid relationships with your supply chain

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

When it comes to most areas in our lives, success will come down to the relationships we have with the people around us. It’s no different when you’re running a business and you use supply chains.

Strong relationships are essential in securing stable supply chains and operations that are smooth for the benefit of your business. Regardless of whether your business’s supply chain is part of multiple partnerships or a few, building relationships that are mutually beneficial is essential for the success of a small business.

So whether you run a bakery business and need flour so you can make goods to sell, or need to power your machinery using power supplies from PowRparts, successful supply chains are one of the single elements that create long-lasting successful businesses.

Here’s how you can build reliable relationships across the supply chain.

Get to know your suppliers 

Suppliers are your business partners, so it is essential that you get to know them better. That means understanding how they communicate and like to be communicated with. When you get to know your suppliers better you will build a relationship with them that will enable you to both collaborate and communicate more effectively.

Long-term relationships with suppliers should be based on an equal partnership. Using tactics such as aggressive negotiation too early on is likely to undermine trust in the relationship and build it on a foundation of resentment.

Think of your suppliers as an extension of your internal organization and treat them as you would your coworkers, for example.

Honor contractual obligations 

When it comes to contractual obligations, your business needs to have the confidence that suppliers will deliver their goods in the manner that they are being paid to. Suppliers need to have the confidence that they will be paid in a fair and timely manner for their foods and services.

Positive relationships come from contractual obligations that are honored by both parties. The best way to ensure this happens is to use specific vendor contracts that will clearly outline the terms of your transactional relationship.

Pay attention to detail

Being inattentive to details and getting things wrong will directly impact time, cost, and customer satisfaction. This won’t only affect your business, it will also impact your supply chain by creating a domino effect on their projects.

Continuous and repeated mistakes will negatively impact healthy supply chain relationships doe this very reason. Make sure to be thorough with all of the details of your transactions with your supply chain–including logistics of delivery and ensure that nothing will go wrong.

Be the business you would want to work with 

Strong relationships come from mutual respect and understanding of each other. You will ultimately win favor from your supply chain if you are intentional about being the business that you yourself would want to do business with.
That means communicating clearly, empowering your vendors, working in a timely manner, and being a business that operates ethically.

If you want to run a business that has improved innovation and is highly successful, improving relationships with others is an absolute must.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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