Building Healthy Supplier Relationships for Your Amazon Business
Is your relationship with your suppliers healthy and strong? As an Amazon seller, part of your job is to build good supplier relationships.
Communication is integral in all parts of a business, no matter the size. Your brand message must resonate with your key audience. Your product must visually engage your customers through high-quality content. You must regularly interact with customers to provide them good customer service. Last but not the least, you must clearly communicate with your suppliers to produce a quality product and source that product in the most cost-efficient way.
Like in any other type of relationship, you must constantly nurture your relationship with your suppliers. Not only does it lead to increase reliability, it also improves your supply chain. And as you grow and start receiving multiple sales orders for your Amazon business, the more you need to have good and reliable suppliers to back you up.
Here are the 5 ways of having a good relationship with your suppliers that can impact your business.
The components of your supplier can make or break the quality of your product. Higher quality enhances satisfaction of customers and reduces product returns, thereby adding cash to your bottom line.
Developing a healthy relationship with your suppliers puts you a step ahead of your competition based on their pricing, reliability, technological breakthroughs and knowledge of industry trends.
Customers judges your reliability depending on the timeliness of your deliveries. A quick turnaround can become the key to speeding up the movement of your inventory in Amazon’s fulfillment centers (if you’re an FBA seller) or in a third-party warehouse (if you’re a self-fulfilled seller). This in turn translates to lesser storage fees and higher Amazon IPI score.
Trustworthy suppliers can make major contributions to your new product development. Remember, they know the ins and outs of their product more than you do. They are continuously striving to be on the cutting edge of innovation for their product. Truly remarkable suppliers will be willing to go the extra mile to understand your brand, your business needs and help you transform your idea into a reality.
If you have built a solid relationship with your supplier, you may be able to seek additional financial support from them once you run into a cash crunch or hit a growth mode. That financing may take the form of a loan, postponed debt, an investment in your retail store, or extended terms on new purchases. All these can improve your cash flow and operations.
Best Practices for Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Suppliers
Nurturing solid connections with credible and experienced suppliers is no easy feat but it is possible. To ensure you develop a lasting positive business relationship with your suppliers, follow these tips:
Ensure Constant Communication
Coordinating with your suppliers only while making purchases will hamper your relationship with each other. The first step to maintaining an effective supplier relationship is by establishing a connection. This means that you should regularly, openly and directly communicate with your suppliers. Getting to know the people who will be fulfilling your order helps build rapport.
Moreover, maintain an open communication line even during difficult times (i.e. the Covid-19 pandemic). The more you make an effort to work together, the more likely your suppliers will stick with you when challenges arise.
Understand Your Suppliers
Working with a supplier will be more effective if you understand them. Start your relationship by sharing your business objectives and asking them what their goals are. Learn what motivates them. Understand their mission, their purpose and how they operate. Equipped with this knowledge, you can better align your business with theirs, and grow together.
Adapt Your Communication Style
Dealing with foreign suppliers comes with potential language barriers. If you are teaming up with a foreign supplier, you will want to use a local interpreter or a linguist who can speak their language. This is especially crucial during key meetings so you can avoid misunderstandings. It is also essential that you know your partners’ preferred method of communication. Maybe they are more comfortable talking over the phone than chatting over Skype. Find out what messaging platforms are popular in their country and use it to reach out to them.
Set the Right Expectations
Set the foundations for the relationship from the get-go. Make sure to clearly communicate your expectations and decide together what your roles and responsibilities are. Whether it is a deadline or a product specification, ensure that everyone understands their duties and is on the same page. If there have been any problems, decide together how to resolve them. Transparency and honesty are the keys to building and growing a long-term partnership.
Pay on Time
Timely payments are crucial. Suppliers’ cashflow relies on steady and dependable payments from customers. Paying your suppliers promptly proves that you are a reliable vendor and easy to work with. If for any reason you might have problems making the payment on a date agreed, inform your supplier as soon as possible. Offer an alternative date on which they can expect the payment. Of course, stick to it. Just like you expect timely actions on their side, suppliers expect timely payments from you as well.
Use Advanced Software
Using cutting-edge supplier management solution shows that you are on top of your game. SellerMobile Supplier Tool, for example, allows you to easily access all your suppliers’ information in just a few clicks. It streamlines your supplier management system, helping you keep track of all purchase orders from multiple suppliers in one place.
If you want to know more about our Supplier Analysis tool, schedule a demo so we can walk you through it.
It can be easy to expect everything from a supplier – low pricing, timely deliveries and immediate replies. But building a good relationship with your suppliers is a two-way street – so, set the example. Personify all the traits you want to see in them. Be a business that your suppliers want to do business with. Obey contracts, communicate clearly, operates ethically and the list goes on.
Do you want to simplify and streamline your Amazon business? Visit our tools and features page to learn more.
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