A major factor in the health and profitability of your business is your relationship with the suppliers and vendors that are supplying you and your customers with products and services. Nowadays when competition is so intense, and time is critical, it’s more important than ever before to have a handle on the vendors and suppliers who work with you. You absolutely need systems set up that not only help you determine whether or not a particular vendor may be right for you, but also keep your business properly protected. This goes for online businesses as well, especially if you are outsourcing services.
Evaluating your vendors or suppliers from the very beginning!
The best way to go about giving your company the best shot possible at a great vendor/supplier relationship is to be sure to do your work at the beginning. Take the time necessary to adequately vet a possible vendor or supplier, and look for possible red flags. Examples of the questions you need answers to include:
- How long have you been in business?
- Who are some of your customers?
- How many employees?
- How busy are you?
- How focused on my company will you be?
- Who will I be working with?
- What happens when there’s an emergency?
- How do I know you’ll come through when I need you?
Put accountability systems in place
This relationship needs to be productive for all concerned. For this reason, it’s essential you put accountability systems into position to ensure everyone is doing their part. Create solid performance parameters that clearly state what is expected, and stick with them. Examine these criteria routinely, and don’t let under-performance issues go undetected. Always make sure you have a quality management system in place. Don’t trust your business to anyone who lets the inmates run the asylum!
Don’t hesitate to move on!
Sometimes it simply doesn’t succeed, and you need to be decisive when it requires changing vendors or suppliers. Don’t allow a bad situation to get even worse; your success depends on it!