Many entrepreneurs believe that their business’ biggest assets are their products and their customers. This is not wrong. However, there are also a lot of business owners who fail to realize that to sustain an enterprise’s growth and success, they need to build a good working relationship with their suppliers as much as they need to establish rapport with their patrons. There is a reason why they are called suppliers—they provide you the merchandise, or in some cases materials, for your products, they furnish you the equipment that you need, and they take care of the manpower you might require. Your suppliers may function only from behind the stage but they’re as important as every building block of your business.
You may be already enjoying a harmonious relationship with your suppliers now or perhaps you’re still treading this territory lightly. Either way, here are five more benefits that await you if you succeed at strengthening your bond with the companies you trade with.
1. Consistent supply.
You don’t have to be excessively congenial with your suppliers for you to secure your business a healthy allocation of products. However, you can earn brownie points for being a good business partner. When you earn the trust of your suppliers (e.g. paying your orders on time, giving them enough lead time), you up the chances of ensuring that your demands are met on time. When this happens, you can be confident that your stock won’t run out even if it’s the peak season.
2. Involvement in the creative process.
Plenty of business experts strongly suggest that retailers and suppliers share with each other vital industry information to stay on top of the game. By imparting relevant news and material, you communicate with your suppliers your willingness to develop your products into something better. In addition, your direct exposure to customers allows you to observe what customers really look for in an item. Armed with this knowledge, your suppliers may solicit your input when trying to come up with ideas for new products.
3. Leverage over competitors.
To say that it’s tough to find reliable suppliers would be an understatement. With the steady growth of startup businesses in number, suppliers would have to deal with multiple retailers which can cause crunches in accommodating orders and deliveries. Thus, consider yourself lucky if you’re dealing with dependable suppliers. Being partners with them already gives you an edge over your competitors because the former’s stable operation will translate to the efficiency of your business. For instance, if your suppliers are always ready to accept orders and never miss a delivery, you can trust that your own operations won’t be compromised just because of unprecedented lapses.
Another advantage of having a good working relationship with your suppliers is that it eliminates the need for you to keep on looking for a better one. As a result, you wouldn’t need to spend too much on keeping multiple suppliers if you can rely on say, one or two, especially if we’re talking about one product or resource alone. Consequently, you also save on time which is better spent on doing more pressing business matters. In addition, working with trusted suppliers reduces the rate of turnovers and similar risks since you know that you’re buying goods that are handled carefully. The less damage there is, the more time you save and less money to shell out.
5. Customer satisfaction.
As in a lot of businesses, the ultimate yardstick to success is to ensure that the customers are satisfied with their purchase. This can be achieved with great effort from all the aspects of the business, one of which is the efficiency of operations as early as the acquisition and production stages. If, for instance, you ascertain that your stocks for selling or assemble your final product do not run out, you can guarantee your customers that the merchandise they want will always be available and as a result make them pleased with transacting with you.
While ensuring that the goods you’re selling should be of high quality is a great virtue to live by, you need to back it up by safeguarding a sufficient supply of the merchandise. This is why it’s crucial that you build an amiable relationship with your suppliers. Not only do you help them advance their business, you also enable yours to prosper and make your customers happy.