Likely, your customers already understand that in working with a reputable, reliable and well-informed manufacturer or distributor, they are gaining a resource that can keep them abreast of industry trends and best practices. To ensure you are providing customers with the greatest possible value, make sure that you too are getting the most out of your supplier. Consider the following five tips for maximizing the value you get from your most powerful resource.
Do Your Research
The best way to understand your suppliers’ capabilities is by taking a site tour. Getting a firsthand look at how they handle product can confirm what you have heard about them, and give you insight into processes that could further your business. You can learn more about their reputation by looking at the marketplace. Learn about the associations or conferences in which your suppliers participate and talk to others in the field to determine your suppliers’ reliability, stability and other strengths.
Make Sure You Are Compatible
When your suppliers share similar corporate values, you can be sure you are keeping the promises you have made to your customers. For example, companies that promote sustainability know that when working with us, they will be able to show their end-users proof of sustainable practices beginning with forestry. Or if custom products are your niche, ensure that your supplier has the innovative manufacturing processes in place to support your custom needs.
Set Your Expectations Early and Check Them Often
Put a clear plan in place and establish key performance indicators on which all parties can agree. Do not set these expectations and forget about them. Check in regularly to ensure your supplier has not changed their processes. By working with suppliers that have clear quality control in place and have control over every step of their processes, you will have easy insight into product performance. This regular communication also creates an ongoing dialogue where you can voice how concerns or potential future needs can be met with process improvements.
Bring Your Supplier Into Your R&D Process
If you are looking to meet the next industry demand, start by exploring the options your supplier is watching and learn how they can help you to meet new needs. By starting with the source, you can more easily determine how to meet, or set, the next wave of trends.
Build Strong Relationships
A valued supplier can serve as an extension of your team. Through ongoing, open communication chains, you can rapidly get to the bottom of any problem that might arise, gain access to the earliest sales forecasts, stay on top of leading trends and much more.
To build a solid relationship with us, meet our sales team!