Vendors are critical to your business’s success. You rely on vendors for supplies, tech products, and to keep you relevant in an ever-changing market, but if your vendors are leaving there is a reason why. Don’t overlook your vendors, and if you are, let’s hope it’s not too late to mend the crucial relationship. Know the signs of a stressed relationship. Here are the signs your vendors are leaving:
1. Orders have stalled
One of the biggest red flags that your vendors are switching is obvious – the order frequency and amount has changed drastically. It’s not you; it’s them, right? Not quite. In some case, yes. But if you notice patterns cycle after cycle, or you are noticing it with more than one vendor, it might be you. Actually, it may be your management system. Vendors need to know that your system can personnel can accommodate their demands and inventory cycles. If not, they will find a more organized company that can.
2. Payments take longer
If you are taking more time paying invoices on time and sending invoices out, your vendor suffers, too. Mismanagement and financial chaos does not leave vendors feeling confident in current and future transactions. If your system is not equipped to handle day-to-day billing and payments, it directly affects the entities with that you conduct business.
3. Shipping takes longer
If a vendor feels as if your company is not capable of receiving, shipping, and managing its products, confidence in shipping it tanks. You make it to the end of the list, instead of getting priority shipping. Not only does this affect your day-to-day rollover, but it affects seasonal demand, too.
4. They stop taking your calls
Ouch! This one stings, but it can happen without you even realizing it. Think about the calls you used to make to your vendor. Are they as pleasant as they once were, or do you find yourself struggling to get a familiar voice on the line. If so, you have been blacklisted, and now your number-one contact has bigger accounts to deal with. This usually boils down to a mismanagement issue, with the company’s ERP system front and center.
5. They stop meeting you halfway
When it comes to this phase of the vendor relationship, it is hard to recover unless both of you have a coming-to-Jesus moment. Vendor-client relationships are difficult. No one is denying that, but it is never one-sided. At times it can feel like that yes, but you have your own way of doing things and so does the vendor. If you can’t establish that expectation initially and nourish it throughout the business relationship, you will run in to trouble, and one side will feel as if they are always doing more than the other. Work out billing kinks, timelines, policies, and expectations BEFORE entering into a relationship; this prevents animosity later on. Don’t let the vendor-client relationship reach this stage of the game.
Often times when vendor-client relationships fail, it is a communication issue. Verbal and digital communication both carry equal weight. If either begin to break down, turn to your company’s communication and management system – your ERP. Talk to NSA about your ERP system and how it can transform your existing, and even build new, vendor-client relationships.