Memo to the CEO: Suppliers Are Key to Growth
November 19, 2014
Alex Short
2 minutes

You have no doubt heard the phrase that the customer is the key to a business’s success. Making sure the customer’s happy, providing ways for the customer to interact with sales and customer service staff and the continuance of supplying helpful services and useful products are all parts of this success.  However, there’s one key factor that could cause a breakdown in a business’s success regardless of how it treats its customers and that is suppliers. Suppliers are key to growth.

Think of suppliers as essential investors in your business venture. Not only can these suppliers create quality products and store them at affordable rates, which in turn can expand your business; but, they can also be the key factor in a business’s failure if they fail to meet expected deadlines or produce bad quality products.

What Benefits do Suppliers Bring

  • Satisfaction through high quality finished products, which results in higher customer satisfactory rates. This also decreases overhead costs as businesses are less likely to have to refund customers for returns.
  • Timely delivery, which increases the customer’s satisfaction and their reliability in the business.
  • Lower overhead  costs from consistently offering fair pricing, timely delivery and their knowledge of your particular industry. So long as your fair with your supplier and they’re fair with you, they continue getting business and your business continues to grow.

The Importance of Supplier Innovation

Lastly, and most importantly, suppliers indirectly grow businesses through innovation. Most businesses struggle to keep up with the changes in their customers’ needs and wants. Most businesses put a handle on these changes by offering ways for customers to interact and give feedback on their products and services. In the wake of social media, many businesses offer customers the platform to give feedback whether good or bad in a public forum. They also offer customer surveys following customer service phone calls or emails to get an idea of what the customer needs. However, the most untapped source that could hold the key to containing all of these answers is your supplier.

The supplier has extensive knowledge of your industry and can always work to improve the products that they create. The longer a supplier works for a company, the better idea they have of what the company wants as well as what the customers need. Companies that are open to change and growth often converse with their suppliers to develop ideas that can better the products they create.

For instance, a company that provides mascot costumes could be sitting quite pretty just from their sales and good customer service strategies. However, they could open the way to more possibilities of growth by conversing with their supplier. In doing so, the supplier may indicate that other suppliers of mascot costumes don’t have the technology to install air vents in the costumes. By installing these air vents in the businesses costumes at a fair price, the supplier makes more money and the company has exceptional room for growth in a market where they are now the innovators and not just simply the competitors.

A certain amount of trustworthiness goes into your suppliers and the way to build this trustworthiness is to be open to suggestions and to continue timely payments to your supplier. Positive feedback is also helpful in forging a relationship with them. If you’re a CEO with serious ideas of growth for your company, you may resist change if things are going well. However, it is important to remember that things will not go well forever and there’s always room for change. In most cases, this change is quite welcome. Don’t let the opportunity of growth pass you by and remember ‘Suppliers Are Key To Growth’.

It is also critical to remember that “Supplier Collaboration comes before Supplier Innovation” Click me and learn more!!!

Alex Short is Founder of Old St Labs he is passionate about building the next generation of business software. He is recognised as one of procurements thought leaders.
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