Supplier relationship management has always been one of the keys to running your business successfully, but it’s undergoing something of a sea change at the moment, and that’s thanks to the fast development of technology revolutionising almost every corner of business operations. It used to be that simply keeping track of payments, developing good working relationships and using your negotiating skills to secure the best deal would keep you ahead of the pack, but that has all changed recently. Tech can now help you to automate and improve processes in many different ways, with the end result that you can make quicker, smarter decisions when it comes to suppliers and budget. So here’s how to leverage tech to make the most of your supplier relationships and save time and money.
When it comes to supplier relationship management, timely communication is absolutely key to prevent misunderstandings and keep the processes between you two flowing. When you work with digital businesses, they tend to have great systems to facilitate collaborative working. For example, a trustworthy digital marketing agency will likely use a piece of software like Basecamp to share progress on a project, invite comment and keep everyone on the same page. Listening to supplier concerns and involving them in your decision making process is much easier when you can be transparent using a tool like this.
Use Real Time Data
Your business decisions are going to be far more sound when they are based on data analytics, so share that knowledge you’re collecting with suppliers as necessary. When you take the approach of treating them as a partner, and letting them into insights you have about the customer journey then you ultimately make both of your lives easier. Sharing insights means that great value can be achieved for both parties. For example, if you choose the right CRM system, you should be able to grant a trusted supplier access or pull off certain key analytics to discuss with them which can help both of your businesses.
Simplify Your Ecosystem View
No business is an island, and most of us exist in the midst of a highly complicated ecosystem of interconnected networks. Those links have a cause and effect on each other, meaning that our other suppliers are also affected. Being able to visualise that network and see the ripples in the pond spreading out is to be able to predict what knock-on effects there will be on other areas of your operation. A good supplier relationship management system lets you achieve full visibility into your supplier base, giving a detailed picture of how events in the macroenvironment or operating conditions might impact your supply chain and allowing you to minimise the risk and make alternative plans. This can deliver big savings and big opportunities for your business, if you’re agile enough to take advantage of them. Technology used right equals a level of insight that should allow you to make smarter business moves and capitalise on favourable conditions.