The View Can Change Depending Where You Are In The Supply Chain

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As a manufacturer or distributor, you rely on your suppliers for prompt delivery of high quality raw materials or products that you need to satisfy your own customers.  Savvy businesses also spend time considering potential supply chain disruptions and prepare plans on how to respond when a supplier is unable to deliver.  One consideration that may have gone unnoticed is your suppliers’ opinion of working with you.  Becoming a ‘customer of choice’ with your suppliers can offer unique benefits such as a higher level of dedication and support from your supplier.

A supply chain disruption can happen at any time and for nearly any reason.  A supplier could experience extreme weather conditions, shortage of a key ingredient, or simply be unable to deliver on time.  Your business may employ risk management plans and prepare for potential disruptions.  Part of these risk management plans may be to engage and improve communication with your suppliers.  As suggested in “The Strategic Advantage of Supplier Engagement,” posted by John H. Fleming and Leslie Rowlands on the BusinessJournal.Gallup.com, you can take these collaborative efforts one step further and become your suppliers’ “customer of choice”.

Your suppliers are people, just like you and your team of employees.  Suppliers may have a preference for who they work with just as your business has a list of preferred suppliers.  By becoming a customer of choice, you may experience greater benefits from your suppliers, including more responsive and reliable service.  As discussed in the article, you may receive higher quality products and services, improved planning and collaboration, and better follow-up support and value-added services as well as reduced costs.  This type of preferred treatment offers the potential for greater economic gains and prompt response in the event of a supply chain disruption or a last-minute customer order.

Fleming and Rowlands suggest that you can earn customer of choice status with your suppliers by improving communication and seeking their feedback, as well as responding to their suggestions.  You can also offer consistency and simplicity, making your business easy to work with. Suppliers are just as important as your customers and treating them as such can be beneficial to your operations and your bottom line.  Contact MIBAR.net for additional guidance on using your business management solutions to further improve relationships with suppliers.

By MIBAR.net, Long Island, New York, Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner

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