What do you think when you talk about external audiences? If your answer was exclusively ‘customers’, it’s a sign that something is wrong. It doesn’t matter if your company operates in the commercial or industrial sector, having a good relationship with suppliers can be the key to success. In fact, we can consider suppliers as true business partners, almost as an extension of the enterprise itself, since they are the ones who provide the necessary inputs for the continuity of the company’s activities.
The importance of this public is such that, today, one of the concepts that are being most developed in large companies is the supply chain. Basically, it is assumed that there will always be a network of interconnected businesses, with the common objective of delivering the products and services requested by the final consumer. In other words: considering companies as isolated and autonomous entities is an error that can directly reverberate in the productivity and profitability of the entire system.
The relationship with suppliers must therefore be worked on in the best possible way. Otherwise, the whole process will be compromised. And that’s why we’ve covered, in this post, the main tips for you to align your processes with this very important audience. Check out!
1 – Pay attention to the established conditions
Before formalizing the partnership, it is essential to verify the supplier’s delivery conditions and the services offered by him. Deadlines, storage and prices are important aspects to be evaluated — especially when we talk about the quick replacement of stocks in case there is any unforeseen seasonality.
Remember that the absence of goods or raw materials can negatively impact your sales picture, while buying in excess represents numerous costs — mainly related to depreciation.
2 – Don’t fall into the low price trap
The ideal is, yes, to look for that supplier that offers the best conditions with the lowest possible prices. However, when it comes to inventory, we cannot base our choice solely on the value of the services and inputs offered. As already mentioned, the standard must rest on the delivery conditions.
When looking for a supplier, it is essential to draw up a list of requirements to be met so that the decision can be made considering only those companies that offer these minimum conditions. Do not forget that, in the eyes of the final consumer , the sale of a damaged product, even if the damage occurred due to the negligence of the supplier, will be the responsibility of the company.
3 – Make your own mix
A very common scenario among small businesses, especially when we refer to stores, is to find entrepreneurs doing business with a number of different suppliers. The practice has both advantages and disadvantages. If, on the one hand, the difficulties of controlling finances are greater in this model — the more suppliers, the more debts with different origins —, on the other hand, there is a greater possibility of negotiation, not to mention the fact that it is possible to abandon one or the other , if prices show an increase, without major logistical losses.
The ideal, therefore, is to make a mix between the two models. Not just one, but not a million either. As? Reducing excess partners and working on relationship actions aimed exclusively at its most important suppliers. Few and good is better than thousands reasonable.
4 – Align your processes
We already mentioned, at the beginning of this post, that the supply chain is the concept that has been most developed within organizations, right? Although we usually imagine an interconnected network of large companies, the idea is perfectly applicable to small and medium enterprises. The secret is that the focus must be given both internally, through organizing demands and forecasting stocks, and externally, placing advance orders in accordance with your external planning .
It is essential that a solid relationship be established, in the sense that the two companies understand each other’s needs and are able to complement each other — meetings, for example, are essential for this relationship to be successfully established. In this way, it is possible to make prices and payment methods more flexible, not to mention that, with aligned processes, suppliers can act in advance to meet their demands, avoiding a possible lack of inputs.
5 – Recognize the importance of suppliers
We can say that there is a paradox when greater emphasis is placed on customers, completely ignoring the relationship with suppliers. There is no consumption without products to be sold. An action planned in conjunction with suppliers often enables the most competitive pricing of products and services, which can guarantee their success in the market. Therefore, re-evaluate your policy towards suppliers and build good relationships with them.