9 Tips for Working with Suppliers

For a successful business, it’s crucial not only to find the right supplier but also to establish ongoing relationships with them. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you when working with suppliers.

  1. Note Differences in Time Zones. Remember that if your supplier is located in time zone different than yours, e.g. Europe and the US, it may impact the delivery time and costs.
  2. Pay Attention to Differences in Business Culture. Be prepared that in some countries, attitude is more laid back so adhering to lead times might be limited, whereas other cultures are more accurate. You may also experience issues such as differences in law, quality expectations, language barrier, etc.
  3. Know Differences in Currency. It’s great if your inventory management system supports multiple currencies and exchange rates, as your currency may differ from the supplier’s currency.
  4. Know Differences in VAT Rates. Each country, even each state in the US, has its own VAT rate. Check out the Wikipedia article which has a table of VAT rates for various countries, and be sure to have this table at hand.
  5. Prepare Product Descriptions Beforehand. While you are waiting for new stock to arrive, you can create product descriptions but not publish them until you receive the stock. It may save you lots of time.
  6. Have More Than 1 Supplier for the Same Product. It won’t hurt to have a backup plan for high-selling items in case of issues with a primary supplier.
  7. Regularly Communicate with Your Suppliers. It would be nice to develop the habit of discussing the progress of your business with suppliers.
  8. Use Inventory Management Software to Monitor and Evaluate Your Suppliers. It’s good to keep a database of your suppliers, so that you could store information about them, easily create replenishment orders, and make remarks about the quality of your cooperation.
    Delivrd offers a convenient feature for managing business partners, including the suppliers. Specifically, you can rank the quality of each shipment that you receive from your supplier.
  9. And the most important advice – Pay Your Invoices on Time, according to agreed payment terms.