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How to build relationships with manufacturing suppliers

One of the most crucial components of your supply chain will be the suppliers that you use. In order to be successful with the management of your supply chain you will need to be able to find suppliers who can provide you with materials that are affordable, high quality, and reliable. In order to make this happen you will need to establish a relationship with your suppliers. This can often times be challenging for many manufacturing business owners. The good news is that that there are several different tips that can help you to do this. Here is what you need to know about how to build relationships with manufacturing suppliers-

- Establish an open line of communication-If you want to have positive and proactive relationships with your suppliers then you will need to have an open line of constant communication with them. You will need to be able to provide them with some personal business information. If they are dropping off shipments after hours you will need to be able to trust them enough to give them access to your building. Talking to your suppliers about what you want and what you need is the first step toward establishing a relationship with them.
- Attend industry events-Another good way to establish a relationship with your suppliers is to interact with them outside of the office. There are often many industry events where you can make contact with suppliers and further work to establish a relationship with them. These events can also be good networking opportunities so you should take advantage of them. Consider attending trade shows, conferences, and other meetings where you know suppliers may be attending. It not only allows you to further build a relationships with your current suppliers but see what other suppliers have to offer as well.
- Provide referrals for good suppliers-Part of establishing a good relationship with your suppliers will be to help them build their business. Do you have a supplier that goes above and beyond? Do you have a supplier that supplies you with raw materials of the highest quality? If you find that you are working with a supplier that is exceptional then you need to spread the word. Helping them build their business will only pay off in a better relationship with your suppliers. It can save you time, money, and hassle as time goes on.
- Be the kind of customer you want to have-Another important step in establishing a relationship with your suppliers is to be the kind of customer that you want to have. Pay your bills on time. You don't want to have your suppliers to have to collect from you.If you have a problem or a question avoid calling your suppliers office and being confrontational. Instead use your communication skills to work with your supplier to resolve the problem. When you are a pay on time customer that your supplier wants to work with they will go above and beyond in order to make sure that you are happy with them.
- Shop around-No matter how good your relationship is with your suppliers you should still periodically shop around. You need to be sure that you are getting the best deal possible on the supplies that you are ordering. You should constantly review not only pricing, but quality and shipping as well. Even if you have the best relationship possible with your supplier by checking around you are keeping them honest. Keep in mind that this can actually improve your relationship with your suppliers since it will force you to communicate if there is problem.

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