First you need to take the time to dissect your business and all the parts that make it move. Analyze where you interact with your suppliers and vendors to understand the level of importance they play in the success of your business.
During this climate of supply chain restraints, we talked with our suppliers and vendors every week to understand where our inventory levels will be several months out. It was important for us to see their bottlenecks, roadblocks, and so on. These suppliers and vendors quite literally help run our business and it’s our job to ensure we aligned with their goals.
Do your best to identify opportunities where you see better collaboration and support. For example, we made the business decision to order larger lot sizes from one of our suppliers. We provided a supplier with advanced purchase lead times that, in the end, benefitted us, our supplier, and ultimately our customer. We had enough inventory, our supplier was able to fulfill orders in a more predictable way, and our customers were able to get the products they needed without delays.
Don’t forget, suppliers and vendors are the backbone of your business. To take care of the rest of your business, you need to take great care of your backbone. It’s important to understand what your supplier’s business goals are and understand how you both align. When they succeed, you succeed. It’s really that simple.
What are we going to look at next week? We will discuss the importance of Customer Relationships.