photo credit: javajoba
Your approach to suppliers needs to be a part of your strategic plan since almost every company, whether product- or service-oriented, is dependent on suppliers. Many business owners seem to get this supplier issue backwards. They think that because they write the order, they’re in the dominant position and can exploit it with unreasonable demands, including personal perks.
Lets face it, great and reliable suppliers can be hard to come by sometimes, so when your lucky enough to find them you want to hold onto them with a tight grip, this is easily done by treating them like they are your best friend. Their timely deliveries; quality and their insight to your competition are a few great aspects that they bring to your company.
In order to treat them as if they are your best friend, here are a few things you can do:
Always pay them on time! This is major, your suppliers are more apt to bend over backwards for their customers who actually pay them accordingly.
Keep them up to speed on any major changes within your company that may affect them and their shipments to your company. The easier you make their job the more likely they are to stick with you and return the favors.
Above all else, try your best to personalize the relationship that you have with your suppliers. They are people too and want to feel included in your business efforts and be rewarded for their years of service with you. Visit their corporate office once a year and while you are there include them on some of your strategies. When you have company outings or picnics invite them to it so they will know how important they are to you.