Relationship between a customer and a supplier is a two way street that helps both parties get ahead of the curve in terms of competition and innovation. Here are 3 tips on how to effectively foster a fruitful business partnership with your suppliers to drive innovation:
1. Collaborate with your suppliers
Since suppliers are quite knowledgeable about the product that they are providing, their capabilities should not be discounted when it comes to innovation. Fragmented communication done through different channels like emails, phone calls, and hard copy, can negatively impact the power of your business partnerships. Establishing a single platform for supplier management will help you consolidate day-to-day tasks and conversations to stay organized and move forward with greater strides.
2. Implement agile process framework with your suppliers
Through the use of various tools that stem from communication and technological capabilities, you can establish a trusting and efficient relationship with your suppliers. By having regular meetings and open minded conversations, your company can establish a competitive advantage not only through internal changes but also external business relationship improvements.
3. Put the costs aside - focus on the value gained
The big stick approach to procurement in today’s manufacturing world is less effective than creating genuine and mutual relationships with your suppliers. Even if another supplier may be quite a bit cheaper - something to consider is that working with a well developed business partner will in turn provide gains for your company.
In the end, it’s important to keep an engaged and supportive partnership with your suppliers, because they are invested in your success. Through effective communication, an agile process and a value-based approach to the business partnership, you will be on your way to creating a space for innovation and growth with your suppliers.