How to Build Lasting Relationships with Your Suppliers


If you want to be successful in business, then it is crucial that you build positive and strong relationships with those you work with. Whether it is business partners, clients, employees or suppliers, failure to build a lasting relationship with those you work alongside daily could be detrimental to your business’s survival. Therefore, it is important that you consider your relationships with your suppliers when devising your business strategy as you may be surprised at how beneficial it can be long term.

Many business owners overlook the importance of their relationships with suppliers as they assume that they are in the dominant position. However, it is important that you don’t exploit this by making unreasonable demands and misusing your suppliers. It can be difficult to find a good and reliable supplier; therefore, you should be sure to keep hold of them by treating them well. Here is a helpful how-to guide on how you can build a good and lasting relationship with your suppliers.


It is important that you keep communication open with your supplier so that you both know what is expected from each other. Just like good communication is a key ingredient to all strong relationships, your professional relationship with your supplier is no different. By regularly keeping in touch with your suppliers, you can create a culture of transparency. This can help to prevent any hiccups or issues that may slow down productivity. You should also be sure to create established channels of communication so that you both know how you can contact each other directly. It is important that you can quickly share information and documents with your suppliers as this will improve operational efficiency and boost productivity.

Always Pay on Time

One of the main things you can do to build lasting relationships with your suppliers is to always pay your bills on time. On occasion, you may find that you accidentally fall behind with payments, but this could have a damaging effect on your relationship. If your suppliers know you as a company that always pays their bills on time, and they don’t have to spend their own time chasing you for unpaid invoices, then they are much more likely to help you out and go the extra mile for you. You never know when you might need a last-minute order from them and being a reliable and on time customer may improve your chances of them helping you out.

However, if you ever find that you can’t make a payment on time, then make sure you let your suppliers know. Give them a call and let them know why you can’t pay on time and let them know when they can expect your payment. This courtesy will be much appreciated by your suppliers and will help strengthen your relationship.

Know Your Stuff

It is important that you have the skills needed to establish and maintain workplace relationships, so you may want to develop your education if you feel that you need to develop your capabilities in this area. By studying for a supply chain management masters, you can take your skills to the next level and learn essential skills such as customer relationship management and supply chain logistics. By studying for this course online at an institution like Kettering University, you can learn all the skills you require to improve your overall business performance. The many courses that are available online allow you to fit your studies around your other professional and personal responsibilities. Developing your skills and education is a great way to boost your overall business management abilities, and effectively develop your relationship building skills.

Meet in Person

You should be sure to take the time to personalize the relationship that you have with your supplier and should consider visiting the suppliers’ offices and inviting them to visit you. This is great example of effective networking, and meeting in person can add a new layer to your working professional relationship. It is easy to get into the habit of only digitally conversing with your suppliers through email or phone calls, but taking the time to get to know them in person will make business between you much easier to carry out. Invite your suppliers for lunch and get to know them, give them a tour of your business and show them that you appreciate them.

You Get What You Pay For

It is important to remember that you get what you pay for. So, if your suppliers are cheap, then the service you receive is likely to reflect that. Therefore, not only will paying more for your supplier’s services improve the quality of the service that you receive, but it may also boost the products that you are buying. The benefits that come from paying more for your suppliers will mean it will likely end up paying for itself as you won’t have to spend time managing them, and you can be rest assured that you will receive the best quality products.

However, it is also important that you shop around for the best deal and don’t just stay with a supplier because you have been with them for a long time and because you like them. While relationships are essential to a successful business, running a business can be expensive, so you need to save money wherever you can. Similarly, if you are paying for a premium service with your supplier, then you need to ensure that you are receiving it. Be honest with your suppliers and let them know if you feel unhappy with anything.

While it may initially seem difficult to form a good relationship going with your suppliers, it is straightforward if you ensure that you are communicative, loyal, and always pay on time. It is important to remember that that your supplier is running a business just like you are, so they face the same obstacles and difficulties you do. Use this commonality to your advantage and be understanding and approachable. You may be surprised at how important a good relationship with your suppliers is to the overall success of your business.


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