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Are Your Suppliers Offering the Best Bang for Your Buck

How To Manage Supplier Relationships For The Best Product Value

As a contractor, getting the right products at the right price is crucial for success. The best way to get valuable products is to manage mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers. Keep your network and inventory straight to ensure you don’t waste time that could be spent working and delivering to your customers.

Read on to learn how contractors can best manage supplier relationships and receive quality products at a valuable rate.

Build A Network Of Suppliers

Building a network of trusted vendors allows you to have go-to contacts that can help you get the products you need in a timely fashion. The wider your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to secure the best deals. This can, however, also present a challenge, because building trust with suppliers requires loyalty and commitment.

To foster one-on-one connections in a wide network, consider these tips:

  • Refer business to your suppliers to build trust. There is no greater pat on the back for your supplier than more business. Send other electricians, plumbers or HVAC technicians to enquire about their products, or offer to leave a raving review online.
  • Communicate candidly and kindly in supplier relationships to create lasting connections.
  • Be flexible on time as leverage for when you are in a pinch and need some help on their end. Tread carefully here though, because you can’t afford multiple delays or financial hits.
  • Log conversations for reference to keep your network straight. Recording names and niceties goes a long way, because you will be business suppliers will enjoy.

Related Article: Protect Your Bottom Line: 5 Hidden Costs That Could Break Your Business

Be Skeptical in Supplier Relationships

Just because you’re in a long-term relationship with a supplier, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. It is beneficial to develop close bonds with your suppliers, but do your homework to make sure the trusting relationship is mutual. Over time, new product developments can make your supplier’s competitors more attractive.

Quality and price are the two factors general contractors must weigh when working with a supplier. Contractors need to continuously evaluate their relationships with suppliers to make sure they consistently receive value from vendors:

  • Research competitor pricing to ensure you’re getting a good deal. If you stop looking, you start losing money. Everyone is trying to make a buck, but don’t fall for unfair asking prices.
  • Track product quality to communicate with your supplier if there are changes in the reliability of their products. Don’t let vendors cut corners at the expense of you or your clients. 
  • Keep a level of professionalism so friendships don’t get in the way of business.

Use Tools To Save Time

Buying in bulk from your vendor is beneficial for savings, but keep your materials organized and accounted for to avoid overbuying. Use software programs to keep you organized and save time.

80% of users are satisfied or very satisfied using construction software, according to Capterra. Here’s what to look for in the top procurement or data management tools:

  • Financial breakdowns from your software should include more than your total spend. Track your most used vendors and how many times you buy, then use those insights to cut down on the amount of administrative time you spend on those purchases.
  • Vendor comparison is key. Be able to track to see if you are using too many vendors to buy the same item, and adjust to which offers the most value. Conversely, if you only buy certain items from one vendor, do some industry research to ensure that is the best deal.
  • Control your supply by tracking inventory for consistently used supplies that can hold-up a job.

Manage your supplier relationships through strong connections, and research proper tools to ensure you receive the best bang for your buck on all the products you need.