Maintaining good relations with your suppliers

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Last updated on May 15, 2013
A good relationship with suppliers is a vital part of business success.

Suppliers not only provide you with the goods and services you need to run your business - they can also be an important source of information, advice and trade credit.

The following tips will help you to maintain good relationships.

  • Talk to your suppliers regularly.
  • Pay your suppliers' accounts promptly.
  • Communicate with a supplier before the due date for payment, should you foresee a delay in paying an account.
  • Build good relations with your current suppliers' representatives.
  • Be fair but firm with industry sales representatives – they can easily take up a lot of your time.
  • Avoid rush orders wherever possible – they can cause significant stress in your business and put a strain on the relationship with your suppliers.
  • Monitor the financial position of your suppliers – talk with industry colleagues and competitors about the general financial stability of those businesses that supply goods and services to you.
  • Address any issues of concern in relationships with your suppliers as they arise.
  • Refer damaged or faulty goods to the supplier promptly, with supporting documentation.
  • Be prepared to review and renegotiate the terms of trade with your suppliers from time-to-time.
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