How To Gain Your Reputation As A Dependable Supplier
There are many business advice columns dedicated to teaching up-and-coming firms how to identify and appreciate a great supplier. But what about the perspective of the suppliers themselves, especially those just getting into the industry? After all, that’s a business in itself, and deserving of good advice too.
Of course, suppliers can take many forms. They may be manufacturers which provide rudimentary or complex parts, they may be procurement services, or they may be traders or buyers that help to secure the right goods for the best price and sell that on.
For instance, a renowned chef in the middle of his inner-city restaurant will often work with purveyors and buyers that trawl the local fish market each morning to gain the freshest produce from the sea. Suppliers come in all shapes and sizes, and may work with specific companies as sole, contractually obligated business-to-business (B2B) connections, or may allow for orders from anyone who is willing to spend.
More than any other kind of business, a supplier lives and dies by how dependable they are considered to be. In this post, then, we’re going to discuss how to achieve and earn that:
Perfect Your Logistics
It’s essential to make sure your logistics networks are realistically calibrated. Using load boards to ship freight as and when necessary, curating your own delivery fleet with a specific fleet manager, and ensuring that tracked deliveries are properly estimated is key. Communication is an essential element here; as delays can happen, and as such, planning in advance can be had if you give fair warning.
Logistics should be realistic – promising perfect next-day delivery when that’s less than feasible is just a broken promise. Logistics is arguably the most essential element of any supplying firm, especially if you need to invest in certain conditions (like refrigerated trucks) in order to send your product around.
Curate Your Industry Contacts
It’s important to curate your industry and professional contacts so you can more easily identify supply and procurement opportunities. This is why many suppliers will send their purveyors abroad to consider the benefit of importing goods, where costs can be saved, or how replacements or referrals can be offered to your clients should you struggle to fulfill their primary and lateral purposes. With constant communication and networking, especially in trade circles and cultivating your own network of reliable suppliers for your own firm (such as for your manufacturing process), you can ensure you lay on a bedrock of worthwhile logistics as you plan to offer to your suppliers.
Suppliers can often fall into the issue of overpromising certain volumes, especially firms that offer manufactured items. As such, it’s important to measure what kind of volume you can put out and how many clients you can reliably serve. As you reinvest you profits in production scales, you can make use of economies of scale and provide that value to your customers, undercutting the competition more easily as you grow. But this all starts with a reasonable approach to tracking inventory and accepting contracts for certain volumes.
With this advice, you’ll be certain to continually deliver and earn your reputation as a dependable supplier, through and through, and with an eye to growing client relationships.