Successful supplier relationships

March 9th, 2015

Let’s discuss successful supplier relationships and their correlation to growth and profitability.

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther, Account Manager for SafeSourcing.

The relationship between a supplier and buyer can be multifaceted with each party wanting to maximize its time, resources and cash investment. Often times these may be competing priorities that can add stress to the relationship.

What’s required to sustain a mutually beneficial relationship is an understanding of each other’s business needs. That does not necessarily mean driving for the lowest price but actually realizing that the success of one partner helps the success of the other.

Supplier relationships are different from simple purchasing transactions in many ways.  First, there can be a sense of commitment to the supplier. For example, if a supplier sells farm feed, he can feel confident that the buyer will use him the next time the company he represents requires a new shipment of farm feed. Another element of these supplier relationships is advanced planning. Buyers don’t just communicate with suppliers when a purchasing need arises; they also contact them in order to discuss their future needs and to determine how best to fulfill those needs by working cohesively.

One key is a supplier’s knowledge of the buyer’s business. When suppliers are viewed as commodity providers, they generally don’t take the time or are not given the opportunity to learn the details of the business or its future business strategy. Consequently, suppliers that are deemed to be partners are encouraged to become knowledgeable about the company, its procedures, its products, and its goals. The result is greater buyer satisfaction with the services provided by the supplier.

Overall, suppliers and buyers are better served when they come together to form strong, mutually beneficial, secure business relationships. When these relationships exist, they can drive the growth and profitability of both organizations and prevent purchasing difficulties.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

 

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