These days business is more a collaboration than ever. Your relationship with suppliers and vendors is a crucial part of your business. Are you caring for it as such? In a cut-throat business environment where speed is prized, understanding your needs and those of your suppliers and vendors is necessary for a fruitful business relationship to go forward. But how to gauge this? You need a system in place that focuses a bright light on possible partners, and safe guards you from trouble later on. Don’t forget, this process isn’t solely for hard goods vendors. If you are depending on a business for professional services or online services, the same system applies.
Evaluating your vendors or suppliers from the very beginning!
The best way to go about giving your company the best shot possible at a great vendor/supplier relationship is to be sure to do your work from the outset. Take the time necessary to carefully vet a possible vendor or supplier, and investigate potential red flags. A few of the questions you need answers to include:
- How long have they been in business?
- How many employees do they have?
- How well are they doing?
- Ask to speak to current and former customers, and if there is any hesitance, reconsider your choice.
- Who would you be working with, and what kind of guarantee is there that they’ll come through for you?
- What happens when there is an emergency?
- How hungry are you for my business?
Make everyone accountable!
Making sure everyone is doing their part is critical in a relationship that uses vendors and suppliers. Additionally, it must be a good arrangement for all involved. Set performance guidelines early on as to what is expected, and adhere rigorously to them. Don’t let weak performance go without challenge. Make sure that the vendor or suppliers you choose have a solid management style in use. You surely want someone there attending to your business for you!
Don’t be scared to cut ties!
If it all goes south, and it does sometimes, don’t be reluctant to move on to another vendor or supplier. Let them have the opportunity to correct things with a formal notice, but if it doesn’t get corrected, move on. You can’t afford not to!
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