Important tips for building supplier relationships

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By Henry Brown

Every single company working right now requires suppliers. You need people to supply your utilities and your internet, your furniture, your building materials for your office – there is a long list of things that you need to have supplied for your business, which means that there is a long list of suppliers that require you to have good relationships.

Without good supplier relationships, you don’t get the good discounts. You don’t get the good reputation as a business that cares about its suppliers and the people that it interacts with every day. Suppliers will have a huge impact on your company’s processes, and as they play a big role in driving revenue for your business, you shouldn’t ignore your suppliers. They aren’t just people: they are people who will determine whether your business is a success and whether you have a good reputation in your industry.

Being able to have a good relationship with high quality suppliers is a must, and without reliable suppliers, your workflow can back up and that can cause processing issues in your business. No matter the industry you work in, you need excellence on your side. This means the help of companies such as Binkelman Corporation is a must for your supply needs. You need to set up good solutions for your relationship management and having long-lasting and trusting relationships is key to your own personal success. You don’t want to be known as a difficult business owner to work with and we’ve got some tips to help you to build better supplier relationships.

-Understand that they’re not just vendors

Suppliers are partners. They aren’t people you pay who supply you with a service or product: they are partners in your business. The relationship that you have should be based on more than finances and mutual trust is a factor here. You have to make sure that your suppliers feel like they are a part of the business itself and that means listening to their concerns.

-Invest in supplier management technology

Technology is infiltrating everywhere in business, and if you invest in the right supplier management software, you can ensure that you are able to create, track, process and purchase orders with your suppliers. This will make life much easier for you when you are working, and some of the software solutions out there will make your relationship as smooth as possible.

-Pay your bills

If you don’t want to ruin your relationships with your suppliers and lose them, pay your bills. They stipulate their payment terms clearly, and you entered into an agreement with those terms in place. Payments are crucial and you need to contact them if you cannot make a payment in time.

-Communicate often

Relationships with your suppliers have to be strong and for that to be the case, you need regular communication with your suppliers. Keep them informed and updated on your plans and your future as this will help them to assess where they are with you as a business.

-Choose quality service

You pay a price, but you want the value. If you have the flexibility to pay for the better services out there, do it. You can buy in bulk for the better prices and get a great relationship with vendors built up! Relationships are great but if a good supplier is giving you great chit-chat but bad services, then you need to switch. A good relationship should never trump good quality products and services, so make a note of this mentally before you get together with someone.

-Agree to a written contract

You need to make sure that you have a detailed agreement with your supplier to make your relationship easier. If you are both aware of your expectations of each other, you will find that the relationship is not complicated at all. Everything down to the basics of terms has to be agreed properly so that your suppliers are happy and content. If you know that everything down to agreed numbers and supply dates is correct, you will be able to better manage your supplier relationships properly. You can have that mutual respect that you both need from each other to make this relationship work well.

-Evaluate all your risks

Before you get together with any supplier, you need to evaluate the risks of the relationships you begin. If you are in a complex supply chain, you need to know that your supplier is trustworthy and you have sought out the right references, too. Take the time to get a background check and reputation check on your chosen suppliers: you want to know that this is going to work and it can work much better if you know that you are using a reputable business.

-Think global

Who says you have to stick to local people for your suppliers? You can go global when you are choosing new suppliers and you can look beyond your local town. There are certain rules for suppliers, so make sure that you are following the right rules for shipping internationally, too. If your vendors are located overseas, you need to make sure that you are communicating effectively with those suppliers at all times. You should also consider the time zone differences if you are choosing to go overseas: you want this to be a good decision but it has to be viable for your business.

Building those supplier relationships is so important for the continuation of your business. If you want things to work, you have to work together and the best way to do that is with honest, open communication and transparency between you all. This relationship has to work if you want to ensure that your business continues properly. Building the right relationships builds your reputation and it assures your customers that you are able to provide them with what they need at all times. Continue to do this for every supplier that your business needs and you will thrive as a business that maintains professionalism at every turn.


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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