7 steps to building a good reputation and attracting the right suppliers 

Author: Sarah Shannon
Date:  December 6, 2022

Being competitively priced is no longer enough to gain the competitive edge. Today organisations are judged on who they do business with and how they do business. Reputation can be damaged overnight by one weak supplier. Just one supplier can pose a huge risk to your business by exposing your company to vulnerabilities such as cyber security leaks, high carbon emissions or modern day slavery.

Take practical steps to attract the right suppliers

There are practical steps that businesses can take to ensure you attract the right suppliers, ones closely aligned with your values and will protect your businesses reputation. 

Firstly, it is important to be easy to deal with and this comes from within your organisation. Before contacting suppliers, ensure that internal communication is clear and goals are agreed upon.

Secondly, businesses should build a level playing field for all supplier types - small businesses should have the same opportunity to compete as larger businesses. Also, ask the right questions when considering suppliers, be specific about what you want in order to avoid wasting your time and your potential suppliers. Next, be highly specific about what you are looking for in a supplier. This will help to narrow down the search and ensure you find a supplier that meets your specific needs.

Remember that supplier management is an ongoing process - it is not a one-time exercise. You should assess, review, and maintain your supplier relationships on a regular basis to ensure the smooth running of your business and minimise risk.

Delve deeper and collaborate with your current and potential suppliers to support each other during the economic downturn and energy crisis. Now is a good to talk frankly and discuss ways to you can both save costs for example managing realistic deadlines to avoid overtime costs.  

Adopt the latest technology to streamline processes, collaborate and share information easily and enabling you to respond faster. By storing and retrieving relevant documents, you will be able to respond quickly to DDQs from third parties who are checking your cyber resilience, ESG accreditation.

Employ automation to avoid tedious copy and paste or arduous word searches seeking files on company systems. This frees up valuable resource to spend building meaningful human relationships with suppliers and accessing their expertise to proactively improve supplier relationships, together.  

In summary the 7 steps to building a good supplier relationship are: 

1 Be easy to deal with 

2 Agree priorities internally before reaching out to suppliers e.g cost, turnaround times, qualifications etc 

3 Build a level playing field for businesses of all shapes and sizes 

4 Ask the right questions to avoid time wasted 

5 Be highly specific about your requirements 

6 Outline your organisations minimum ISO requirements and accreditations 

7 Provide constructive feedback 

By attracting the right supplier you will help your business to run smoothly and avoid business disruption and damaged reputation.  

Ready to manage third party risk? Find out more about VRM on Pulse Market and book a call.

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