Suppliers, what makes you different?

October 15th, 2013

What are the Value Added Services that make your company different than your competition?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.

One of the biggest Supply Chain topics for 2013, as it is every year, is the concern over rising costs and shrinking profits, and unfortunately this is the stigma attached to many eProcurement tools and practices.  We tell our customers and the suppliers who participate in our events it is about more than just price; it is about the overall value that is presented.

Today we will be looking at ways that suppliers can distinguish themselves from their competition in areas other than price.

Labeling and Packaging – Labeling and packaging are one of the big expenses in For Resale items for many retailers especially when it comes to Private Label goods.  Suppliers who are willing to work with their customers to develop packaging that will streamline the receiving and sales process can gain a big advantage over their competitors in a way they can leverage to great value.

Training & Professional Services – One of the easiest ways for suppliers to begin to separate themselves from the pack is in the area of professional services and training.  For the supplier these services can generate a value to their customers that far exceeds the actual cost of the service itself.  In this case it is a win-win situation where the customer gets valuable services while the supplier gets an opportunity to continue to build on the face-to-face relationship in a useful manner.

Guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA) Metrics – The bottom line in any Supplier-Customer relationship is not just price or “bells and whistles” it is about how well the supplier delivered what they promised, how they dealt with situations when they didn’t deliver as promised and what they are willing to risk if they fail to achieve on the Service Level they promised.  Getting the best price means nothing if the product or service is of low quality or is late.  The best suppliers OVER service their customers and are willing to stake a portion of their cost on their ability to achieve that level of service every time.  These guarantees may not always translate to your bottom-line in a positive way, but not having them in place and receiving poor quality will definitely impact it in a negative way.

For assistance on helping you work with your suppliers on the extra value they can offer you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to your comments.

 

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