Are you reluctant to discuss your successes and failures with your suppliers? Do you worry that if they knew the facts they might change their perception of you and offer less favourable terms?
The truth is that most suppliers would prefer you to be frank with them and would be happy to work with you to adjust orders and deliveries accordingly. After all, they want your continued business and that depends not upon your buying more but upon your buying smarter.
Sit down with them as ‘partners’ and try to work out an arrangement that benefits both parties. Try to identify:
- Products you can order in larger volumes in exchange for volume discounts
- Orders you can discontinue because you can buy more cheaply elsewhere
- Ways to revise delivery schedules to reduce your stock keeping costs
- Opportunities to share marketing or promotional costs
- Ways you can exchange information to improve efficiency at both ends
When it comes to building a market and servicing it, you and your suppliers are on the same side, so build a relationship with them that reflects that.
In a period of economic difficulty or uncertainty, remember that suppliers might raise their prices, so try to negotiate a long-term discount with them.