- Select the right suppliers
As a serious business, you should have a list of requirements that your suppliers understand. Therefore, make your requirements clear to all suppliers from the word go. Select the ones that meet and adhere to established standards for equipment and services safety performance. Also, ensure they are capable of producing consistent quality.
- Have multiple suppliers for every product
They say never put all your eggs in one basket. That applies to supply chains too. As a business, you do not want to disappoint your customers at any given point. To ensure things are always working and your customers are satisfied at all times, never rely on a single supplier per product. In fact, you should have multiple suppliers for each product to ensure that if one fails, another one can meet the requests. Many disasters and emergencies such as fires, floods or transport issues can affect fulfilment. Therefore, having various suppliers ensures you get what you need at all times.
- Invest in continuing education
Most organizations nowadays have no resources to carry out reviews and improvements. However, those people you have in your organization must be properly educated on how to track and identify issues in the supply chain and quickly find solutions to address the identified issues. It can be difficult to select the right education and development programs for your teams. However, you can decide on a combination of in-house and external programs. As you embark on this mission, it is good to ask around and see where your staff are likely to gain the most value and look for practical programs.
- Be flexible
With the unpredictability of the supply chain, you may never know when a certain product will become scarce or when a disaster can occur and affect the movement of products across the supply chain. Therefore, be proactive and anticipate problems in the supply chain at all times. Research on solutions to certain problems and alternative suppliers, from different regions. With such an approach, you will be able to sustain your operations and maintain your stock, even if a certain supplier is not able to fulfill your needs. Be creative and offer alternative options for your customers. Research the best alternatives that will satisfy your customers to ensure you always have something for them.
- Encourage regular communication
Communication is an important component of any business without which customers will be unsatisfied and may opt for others. The same is true when it comes to suppliers. As a retailer, you do not want to get your suppliers off-guard in different areas. The only way you can ensure all your suppliers and customers are with you is through constant communication. Let them know what is coming and when. Let them understand your plans and build a dialogue, which is critical for trust. Through dialogue and continued engagement, your customers and suppliers will work with you and a strong relationship can be built.
- Build mutual trust
Trust is an important thing to all businesses. Therefore, as a business owner, you must keep suppliers in the loop regarding the upcoming projects and count on them to help out. With proper and timely communication and transparency, you can build a strong coalition based on trust that can help you meet the needs of your customers.