Building Good Supplier Relationships, Part I
How Can You Build Better Supplier Relationships?
PurchTips Edition #392
Good supplier relationships can help your organization succeed. Those relationships are particularly critical in this hot economy, when suppliers’ capacity is strained, upward cost pressures are strong, and suppliers can pick and choose which customers get served first.
There are plenty of technical ways to build good supplier relationships: Pay suppliers on time, don’t ask suppliers to perform unusual tasks just because that’s “the way it’s always been done,” share plans and information, integrate technologies to achieve mutual cost reductions, etc. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to be your supplier’s biggest customer.
But there are also some more personal ways to build good supplier relationships. Those ways begin with the idea of simply being someone that your supplier contact likes. It may sound simple, but sales professionals study how to build and leverage personal relationships with buyers all the time.
A good relationship can be the difference between getting a shipment on time and getting a shipment unacceptably late. So, it’s important for procurement professionals like you to actively try to be more likable to your suppliers. This two-part series will share five things you can do in interacting with your supplier contact. The first is:
- Establish a Relationship at the Highest Level Possible. If your day-to-day interactions are mostly with a customer service representative, that doesn’t mean that your primary relationship should be with that person. Try to be introduced to the highest-level decision-maker possible, perhaps even the CEO. In cases where having a relationship with the CEO is not possible, establish a relationship with someone who can at least influence the highest-level decisions.
Four more things you can do to build good supplier relationships will be shared in the next edition of PurchTips.
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Copyright 2018. This article is the property of the Next Level Purchasing Association and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Click here to request republishing permission.
By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
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