Maintaining Effective Vendor Relations in Retail
Maintaining effective vendor relations is a must in retail if retailers need to stay competitive. That is to say, having great vendor relations will affect business progress. In other words, good terms with the vendors result in effective and good product delivery. Consequently, it will make customers happy and provide them with good customer service. In this article, we shall discuss how retailers can build strong vendor relations with their vendors.
Understanding Vendor Relations Management
By vendor relations management we mean planning and managing the effective relationships with the vendors. That is to say, in retail, this refers to dealing with wholesalers, contractors, and manufacturers. Let’s see what are the ways through which retailers can maintain effective vendor relations in retail.
We can create friendly terms with someone only when we are frequently in contact with them. Therefore try to remain in contact with your vendor even when there is no business talk going on. Most retailers are in contact with their vendors when they are in need. But, retailers should try to remain in contact with them even other than business. In other words, they should ask them about how their business is going, what are their future plans, etc. As a result, vendors will be more relaxed while conversing about matters aside from their business dealings with you.
A very effective way to build healthy vendor relations is to think of them as your partner and not the vendor. In other words, they can prove to be beneficial to you. Therefore create ties with them other than business. In other words, with this mindset, you will be able to see them as your partners and not vendors. As a result, this mindset will help you manage effective vendor relations. Consequently the better the relationship is the better services vendors will deliver.
Effective Product Forecasts helps with Vendor Relations
One of the main clashes between retailers and vendors arises due to the imperfection of the product forecast. In other words, retailers do not know exactly what their customers would demand and which products they should foresee. Moreover, they are not aware of the quantity of the products they intend to order. As a result, the vendors are not given exact amounts and hence are left unaware of the product demand and quantity. Therefore it is essential that retailers know exactly the forecasts that they need to order. Therefore they can invest in tools such as POS System and such actions through which they exactly know which products and how much to order. Consequently, it will result in clarity and awareness on both parts; the retailer and the vendor.
Honesty; an essential element in maintaining healthy vendor relations
Remain honest with your vendors. That is to say, retailers need to inform the vendors instantly in case something goes wrong. For example, in case the merchandise is lower than what had been ordered, retailers should inform their vendors immediately so that there is no confusion and issues due to it later. Issues can occur, but if solved instantly they do not lead to arguments and disputes.
Communication is the key when it comes to maintaining ties with anyone. Therefore when it comes to maintaining vendor relations, communication holds great significance. Further, the medium of communication should be efficient. That is to say, whatever the means of communication is should be fast and effective. Moreover, retailers should try to have one medium to connect for example vendor management tools. However, they should avoid using various channels such as email, SMS, call, etc and stick to one medium.
Be professional when Required
Last but not the least; retailers should try to be good clients. There are business owners that completely lack professionalism. Therefore firstly retailers need to be cordial and polite with their clients. Secondly, they should have strict rules when it comes to payment. As a result, these things lead to effective vendor relations management.
Certainly, cash flow is essential for all businesses. Therefore retailers who pay on time are respected and praised. There are vendors who have payment history lists. Further, they rate retailers on their payment. That is to say, they note if their payment is on time. Consequently, the merchants that pay on time will definitely have better terms with their vendors. As a result, vendors might offer them better prices as compared to the rest of the market. In short, these merchants are respected and offered discounted prices.
To conclude adhering to the vendor’s rules and procedures is significant. As a result, it will naturally lead one towards better and enhanced vendor relations. For example, if vendors require a specific way for the order, there is no harm if retailers comply with them and their procedures. As a result, the orders will be processed effectively and on time. Moreover, it shows that retailers are professional and courteous.