Communication in business is vital, with most companies being dependent on one another. When one business relationship falters and fails, be it the customer relationships, employee relationship or the supplier relationship, your business can suffer as a result. There are numerous ways to strengthen your business relationships. However, it pays to invest time in building a strong supplier relationship.

1.    Meet your suppliers face-to-face

When looking for new suppliers, it is vital to meet them face-to-face and build a report before signing a contract and working with them. By meeting those who you will be working with, trust can be instilled, and by seeing how their business operates, you review whether their methods and procedures are reliable and productive.

For instance, if you build cars but outsource the engine from an external supply chain, you will want to watch how their production line and business operates, otherwise it could have negative consequences for your business.

2.    Keep in regular contact

The best way to remain on the same page is to have an open dialogue with anyone who works within your business – this includes your suppliers, too. Update your suppliers on strategic changes early on so that everyone can adapt with minimal disruption. You can keep in contact via:

  • The phone
  • Skype
  • Meetings in person
  • An SAP Supplier Portal

3.    Invest in useful software

Software is invented and created every day, but determining which is useful and essential to your business can be overwhelming. Supplier Portals, such as those provided by, are a web-based portal that allows businesses to keep in contact with their suppliers through real-time. Again, if we are to use the example of a car manufacturer, the manufacturer can manage purchase orders, share demand forecasts and raise quality notifications with their suppliers so that their production line is always informed and can respond rapidly to any changes in key information.

4.    Place orders in good time (avoid rushing them)

Forgetting to place an order happens, but you should do everything in your power to avoid rushing them. SAP Supplier Portals can help avoid this mistake, but you will also want to keep lines of communication through other devices open, too.

Be clear about reoccurring orders, keep on top of deadlines and forecast when there will be an increase in demand. Also, do not forget to pay your suppliers on time, otherwise this can jeopardise any headway you have made towards building a supplier relationship.

5.    Offer relevant business opportunities

Keep an eye open for any business opportunities that may be fruitful to your suppliers. If you, for instance, are a well-known car manufacturer who is releasing a luxury sports car, ask if they would like to take part in the project; this can help build a respectable brand image for themselves, too.

By making your business important to your suppliers, they are more inclined to work harder for you, and also offer discounts and deals if you are a liable and reoccurring customer to them. Building a report with your suppliers can have long-lasting business opportunities.



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