Companies should also strengthen communication between departments. This means, for example, putting the company’s quality manager in contact with the supplier’s quality manager. In this way, if problems arise, solutions will be expedited.
Finally, make it personal. We all spend more time emailing, texting, and on phone calls than we used to. That makes it all the more memorable if you can take the time to meet your supplier in person.
3. Set The Tone Of The Relationship, Be The Example
It can be attractive to expect everything from the supplier: low prices, prompt delivery, and timely communication. It is important to remember that it is a two-way street and if you want a great supplier, it is essential to set an example and incorporate all the features you want to see in it. Being punctual, organized, and ethical are great ways to present as both customer and supplier to feel confident.
As suppliers possess a wealth of industry knowledge and skills, this kind of relationship can produce crucial information that can be used to significant effect by a company that is willing to listen and work with its suppliers at a meaningful level.
Successful business alliances are built on mutual trust and communication, factors that nurture relationships and make them strong over time. Ultimately, try to be a business that businesses want to do business with.
4. Allocate Resources For Supplier Management, Use Technology To Your Advantage
According to a 2017 Global Supplier Relationship Management Research Report by State of Flux, people and their soft skills are the core of SRM, so whether you need a whole department to manage supplier relationships, a dedicated supplier relationship manager, or even if it’s only a part of someone’s role, having people in your organization who are responsible for the SRM process is essential.
Create a documented process that will help guide your team through the management and administration of suppliers. In a large organization, this can include flowcharts, SOPs, policy documents and agreements, or simply a 2 to 4-page paper that covers all of the points of agreement for you and the supplier. Make sure that all the steps are followed and that documents are signed off when completed.