Every successful business has a strong team of partners and vendors on its side. These outside sources can help with anything from supplying materials to logistics services to finances, and much more. While your individual organization might be outstanding, without effective external cooperation and support, its almost impossible to thrive. So, naturally, it makes senses to ensure your partner and vendor relationships are as happy and healthy as possible. Here are 5 outstanding ways to get you started.
Choose Your Partners Wisely
The first step to a great long lasting relationship is making a good first choice. When originally evaluating partners and vendors, carefully consider a long term relationship. Can the company perform your required roles and services for a long period of time? Do they embody characteristics and a culture you feel comfortable associating yourself with? Can you communicate well with them regularly? Ask potential partners for a list of references or about current clients similar to yourself. A successful vendor relationship depends on much more than just the cheapest price or even the best products and services. Ensure your relationship, work style, and ethics are compatible from the start.
Maintain Clear Communication
You wouldn’t expect employees to work effectively without regular and up to date communication, and vendor relationships are exactly the same. Make sure vendors have at least one regular point of contact with the company that can update and inform them about needs, schedule changes, order issues, or anything else. One way to communicate easily with vendors is by incorporating them into your enterprise social network. Many platforms even have a specific guest user setting, designed just for partner and vendor communication. These allow organizations to include vendors in only specific groups or areas within their network, ensuring communication is easy and content stays safe. However you decided to communicate, make sure it is clear, regular, and informative.
Provide Comprehensive Training
In addition to regular communication, it’s important to arrange periodic training for outside organizations. Occasional training ensured everyone working with your company understands your goals, requirements, and unique concerns. It serves as a reminder to established employees and helps new members receive detailed training right from the source. Regularly scheduled trainings also mean vendors and partners are always up to date on any changes to guidelines and regulations. Once you’ve established an initial vendor relationship, schedule a follow up training a few months in advance. After your follow up, continue to implement refresher sessions or updated trainings as often as needed.
Stay Understanding and Supportive
Vendor relationships are, believe it or not, relationships! Which means they depend on trust, understanding, and mutual respect. Of course, there may come a time when you and your vendor need to part ways, and we are in no way advocating you don’t correct problems or resolve concerns. But just like any successful personal relationship depends on mutual commitment and understanding, it’s important to support your vendors and show them appreciation. Like your own employees, vendors are experts in their industry and often have unique ideas and perspectives organizations can benefit from. If you’ve carefully selected a reputable vendor and cultivated a strong relationship so far, you can trust them to make the right choice in sticky situations, ask for input and ideas, and support them through the occasional ups and downs.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Partners might assist you in your own efforts, but don’t forget they are a business too. Every vendor you work with has its own vendors, goals, guidelines, and aspirations. When working with a vendor, especially when overcoming an obstacle, consider the situation from their perspective. Try to offer solutions that are mutually beneficial or take into account your vendor’s needs. When companies are considerate of and support each other, a truly successful partnership is able to emerge.
While they might seem insignificant at times, vendor relationships can make or break an otherwise healthy organization. Much like regular relationships, vendors and partners require a little time, effort, and consideration in order to thrive. At MangoApps, we help companies achieve successful internal and external communication. Our Mango Community application is specifically designed to strengthen and simplify vendor relationships at every level. To learn more about Mango Community or try it in your own organization, contact us or schedule a free demo today.