The buyer-supplier relationship management process is the systematic approach to assessing vendors that supply a business, allowing the business to evaluate the contribution made by the supplier and how to improve the nature of their buyer-supplier relationship.
What Are the Types of Supplier Relationships?
There are three major types of supplier relationships:
- Vendor – The predominantly transactional nature of this form of supplier relationship allows both parties to be identified as ‘buyer’ or ‘supplier’. In a vendor-supplier relationship, it is rare to have any other collaboration beyond the transaction in question.
- Strategic Alliance – A much more intertwined buyer-supplier relationship. This is an agreement between two businesses to embark on a mutually beneficial project, while both businesses preserve their autonomy. This type of relationship allows both organisations to collaborate and adjust their methods to assist and accomplish their goals. In this alliance, the relationship is more tactical than transactional.
- Partnership – A supplier partnership is a commitment over an extensive period to work together to benefit both parties mutually. This may include sharing risks, rewards and information. The buyer and supplier work together to modify their business approaches to deliver positive results. These outcomes are usually more successful than either business could achieve independently.
How Do You Build Supplier Relationships?
There are several management techniques to build strong relationships with one’s suppliers. A reliable buyer-supplier relationship can make the difference between a successful or difficult interactional process. Making the effort to build supplier relationships will not only improve your interaction but will also create opportunities to solve any potential unexpected issues that could arise, in the event of a loss of stock.
Here are several methods to improve and build buyer-supplier relationships:
- Respect – Mutual respect is a necessity when building relationships with suppliers. Respect builds trust and with trust comes continual opportunities to enhance performance.
- Terms –There is an inextricable link between the contract management process and the supplier relationship management process. A buyer-supplier relationship is naturally reliant upon a contractual agreement, which allows the relationship to be monitored. The contractual terms will state what each party has agreed to do, including delivery hours, days and prices. During the existence of the contract, the buyer will examine these areas to ensure the agreed upon performance is maintained, and if this is not, a breach of contract is made.
- Communication – Effective communication is essential to successful supplier relationships. Clear expression and interactional skills can aid this process. For the success of both businesses, any messages must be understood and clearly received. The frequency of communication can improve the rapport between a buyer and supplier.
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