How to Work Better with Suppliers

When you are running a business that is products-based, you get a lot of face with suppliers. Finding the best suppliers, though, isn’t always that easy, and when you do find great suppliers, you need to know how to work with them so that the relationship that you have is one that is solid and long-lasting. You need to manage your supplier relationships carefully so that you don’t find your company without the right people.

You need to ensure that no matter what line of business you are in, you are working well with your suppliers. Managing these relationships are as important as those that you manage to keep your company afloat; suppliers don’t just come and go - not the good ones, anyway. Whether you are running a business that requires machining centres like the ones found on, or you are running a business that needs specialist clothing created - either way, you need to ensure that your relationships with your suppliers are solid. Below, you’ll find some of the best ways to work well with your suppliers so that you aren’t stuck in a cycle of bad supplier relationships.

Set Clear Expectations

Your suppliers are working for you but you will depend on them to make your business work. It’s one of the biggest reasons that you have to set expectations and live up to them, while your supplier does the same. Setting these expectations can help a relationship from breaking down.


You cannot run an efficient business if you do not communicate properly. You need to be able to collaborate properly, so that you can run an effective business. Without communication, your relationship will fail and this won’t be down to anyone except you. Your supplier cannot read your mind, and it is up to you to outline what you want and when, and they will do the same.

Be Accountable

You need to think about what you are offering your suppliers. If you have said you are going to pay your invoice by a certain date, then you need to make sure that you don’t rescind on your promises. You should also expect the same from your suppliers. Accountability is so important, and while you are holding your suppliers accountable, you need to hold yourself accountable, too.

Monogamy Isn’t the Rule

If there is one rule that you shouldn’t hold yourself to is the rule that you should put all your eggs in one supplier basket. You need to be able to talk to, and work with, more than one supplier. This is the only way that you’re going to be able to keep your business moving and keep your name sweet among suppliers. You don’t need lagging lead times and issues with timing and delivery, and you can avoid these by simply keeping your options broad.

You need a good relationship with your suppliers to keep your business ticking along properly. You don’t have to rely on just one supplier, but you do need to think about how you talk to and work with the ones that you have.