How to Best Utilize Vendor Partnerships

Posted on November 21, 2018

By Don Mancuso, HHS Corporate Director of Materials Management

No matter the industry, supply vendors are key contributors to a company’s success. That’s why it’s important to develop streamlined processes to compare, track, and evaluate vendor performance. This system of checks and balances ensures that the company remains profitable while providing the highest quality supplies for operational needs. To create a formalized system, utilize these four tips to develop strong vendor partnerships and get the biggest bang for your buck.

Develop positive vendor partnerships
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Just as a business would treat their clients, the same goes for the partnership developed between a vendor and a company. As partners, it’s key to communicate openly and regularly to avoid any distributor conflicts. This allows for upfront and transparent communication that benefits both parties. Additionally, as strong relationships form, more focused negotiations can take place to achieve better pricing for regularly purchased items.

Examine pricing against invoicing regularly

Even though specific contracting prices may be noted, it is best practice to pull orders and invoices on a monthly basis to review pricing for quality assurance. This allows the company to make sure they are not getting overcharged for particular items without their knowledge, as product pricing is subject to increases overtime. Additionally, this provides evidence that guarantees pricing is staying true to the contract that was developed, helping companies retain an appropriate profit margin.

Evaluate products to ensure quality

To control costs and guarantee that products purchased from vendors are suitable for the company’s needs, it’s vital to evaluate the products often. A simple way of achieving this is by creating a faculty team with a variety of executives, managers, operators, and team members to test products and evaluate their efficiency. This allows the company to stay in touch with emerging trends for dynamic markets, while backing the purchase of products.

Compare costs across vendor networks

When new products are needed to better support customers, and current vendor partners do not carry those particular products, it’s time to begin reviewing costs within the entire distributor network. By looking at and comparing pricing, companies can find the distributor who offers the best rates for quality products. This also serves as an opportunity to develop new ways to save money by looking at other contract pricing for materials while also developing new beneficial partnerships.

The distributor client relationship is a vital aspect of how businesses achieve success. By following these four steps, companies can better utilize their vendor partnerships to not only benefit their bottom line, but also their success in the industry. This relationship provides an avenue where both parties can succeed while staying relevant and competitive within their markets.

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