You’ve been entrusted with a part of your company’s budget, and whether you’re buying snacks for the breakroom or coordinating the purchase of every product that comes through the door, it’s important that you trust your supplier as much as your company trusts you. So what are the top things you should expect from your vendors?
A customer-first approach. This is the most important element of your relationship with your suppliers. Have they provided an Account Manager who you know and can contact? Is your relationship with them the same as their relationship with their other clients, or is it customized to your industry and your business’s needs?
Commitment to improvement – This kind of commitment should dovetail naturally with a customer-centric approach. Your Account Manager should continuously look for ways to improve your program and relationship and make recommendations to help your company be more efficient and optimize your budget dollars.
Stability and strength – If you’re trusting your supplier with your business needs, you want to know they’ll be around for long enough to truly know you and your business. A stable supplier not only has a good likelihood of longevity and geographic reach, they also have industry influence and the ability to work directly with manufacturers to ensure best price and quality for you, the end user.
Investment in the future – So your supplier is strong and stable now—that doesn’t mean they should rest on that success. Ask questions about your suppliers’ plans for the future, how they are growing and what improvements they’re making that will benefit you and your company going forward.
At the end of the day, you want the suppliers you work with to do their job well so you can do yours well—how good you are at your job depends on part in how good they are at theirs!