For many customers, when dealing with a supplier, there are simple things that can cause a lot of upset. On the flip side, there are also a few simple things that make a supplier great. Often what makes a great supplier even better is a great customer – and I was reminded of that fact earlier this week while talking with one of our great customers.
I know this is a very different perspective as we so commonly focus on the efforts of the supplier to cement great relationships with customers to maintain and grow their business. Often the customer is considered to be in the position of power and can be as demanding or unconcerned with their supplier as they wish. However, this customer expressed to me that the importance of the relationship they build with their suppliers is second only in priority to the relationship they build with their own customers. This approach is an important part of their strategic business plan as they recognize that they rely on quality and dependable suppliers for products and services to create their exceptional products.
Quality, competitive pricing, and on time delivery are just a few ways that suppliers can impact your business positively or negatively.
Here are some of the ideas you can use to build a strong and loyal relationship with your supplier.
- Visit your supplier’s facility. Meet the team that will service your account and gain an understanding of their business.
- Keep your supplier in the loop with the changes you are making in your company or changes in your marketplace that may affect a change in your requirements from them.
- Understand lead times and work with them to plan schedules to eliminate last minute rushes. Some rushes are unavoidable and a great supplier will be able to perform for you in those instances. Planning and good communication help to avoid unnecessary crises.
- Engage your supplier by including them in start-up meetings for your company’s new projects that involve their product and service. Many times they bring valuable information that can save you money and time in development.
- Maintain great credit with your supplier.
- Develop relationships. If you’re extremely satisfied with your supplier, recommend them when you have the opportunity. In turn, you will find your supplier recommending you.
Being a great customer is not difficult. Setting out your expectations clearly, treating your supplier with respect, fairness and appreciation for the vital role they play in your business, leads to loyal suppliers that will go the extra mile for you every time!
PTI is committed to building the strongest, most productive relationships possible. Check out our video to see just how we do it:
Want to work well with your supplier and get the most out of the relationship?
Call Packaging Technologies Inc. today at 1-800-303-5883.