You, as a buying organization seeking to maintain competitiveness, should always seek continuous supplier improvement. This is true all the time – whether you’re launching a new product, or trying to boost sales of existing ones.
Quality management is a crucial part of business strategy. If you’re dealing with subpar raw materials, it’s impossible to build a quality product your customers will love. If your suppliers are sourcing poor-quality materials, you can’t produce quality.
If you mention that you’re struggling with the quality of what the supplier is offering you and that you will go back to the supply market to find an alternative, you may find the supplier is willing to make changes to their business processes to keep you as a client.
Cost is a huge driver of social responsibility and sustainability, which is crucial to keeping customers happy. Today’s consumers want to do business with brands that are aligned with their personal values. If your brand is all about sustainability but lacks the diverse suppliers to prove your operations management is handled sustainably, then you risk upsetting your customer base.
Finding new sustainable suppliers may not make sense for you, and that’s when you should aim to partner with your existing base on more sustainable business practices to help one another.
Keeping costs down is important for your profit margin, but sometimes, it is worth it to pay more for quality and on-time delivery.
Work with your suppliers to find ways to improve costs – whether that means ordering more items or ordering in bulk, or ordering a more cost-effective version of the same product. Try negotiating early payment discounts to lower costs without sacrificing quality.
It doesn’t matter if your supplier has the highest quality products if you can’t get them to your production team when they need them. If you’re stuck with a long lead time and your operations come to a screeching halt, then you have no choice to but to look to alternative suppliers.
Suppliers should seek to improve delivery times by offering a variety of shippers to work with, and shipping from multiple locations so orders always come from the warehouse closest to you.
Technology is expensive, but can greatly improve productivity and efficiency, which helps improve service quality and reduce costs in the long run.
Communicate with your suppliers about the technology you use and expect from them. Integrations and automation help improve the process for everyone.