The Impacts of Coronavirus

In 2020, businesses were hit hard by lockdowns and the worldwide pandemic. Many supply chains were cut off at the head and it was a scramble to meet the demand of customers.

In January’s report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 41% of small businesses were impacted by COVID-19 and have continuing cash flow issues.  More interestingly though, 28% of businesses are anxious about current and future supply chain uncertainty.

Now more than ever it’s important to be onside with your supplier. If you are onboarding a new supplier or don’t already have a relationship with your supplier, here are a few tips on how to build and maintain a good relationship.

1. Understand Your Suppliers Business

In your initial conversations with your suppliers, ask questions and engage in conversation about how they run their business. As a B2B client, they will perhaps give you a quick rundown of how their business works but by being interested and engaging in conversations about their business you will learn more and have a greater understanding which in turn can help your business streamline processes. Some questions to ask when onboarding a supplier are:

  • How many employees do you have and who will we be dealing with directly?
  • Who will be involved in our order? Can I be introduced to them?
  • How are your materials sourced?

We also recommend remembering personal touch information such as employees names and further engaging by asking about their footy team or how their family is doing. As this will show you care not only about your order but about the people handling your order.

2. Have Good Communication and Be Honest

Just like you value your customers, suppliers will value you as a customer and will prioritise your business when needed. But remember to be valued you need to be present; take their calls, respond to emails, invite them to relevant industry events, and invite collaboration and discussion on projects. By being present you are showing that this is more than a business transaction for you, it’s a B2B relationship. Similar to our first tip, we also suggest that you move past business and get to know who you are working with, and an open line of communication can assist in this initiative.

Be transparent and honest

Being transparent may seem daunting but it builds your business’s reputation and your character within business, which sometimes can be more important than the prominence of your brand. Transparency also builds the relationship with your supplier and demonstrates that you are trustworthy. You should continue to build this trust by being upfront and honest about payments and deadlines. Give them a call if you are going to be behind on a payment and don’t use excuses. By building trust and being honest you are more likely to have a good relationship with your supplier where they can be flexible and extend deadlines after all everyone has been affected by covid.

3. Take Advantage of Discounts and Make Negotiations that are Mutually Beneficial

Paying your suppliers on time is one very good way to stay in their good books, but make sure that these terms not only meet their needs but also your expectations.

If you pay early is there a discount?

Discounts are very beneficial to both parties. For example, there is a better cash flow for suppliers and bigger savings for retailers. It also creates a relationship where suppliers can rely on you to be a reliable consumer of their products.

Can I afford to pay the supplier within that payment period?

If you need to negotiate a longer payment term, start early and remember to showcase how a longer term is also beneficial to the supplier. E.g. more stock is ordered.

Automate your payments

Automating your payments means that your supplier will be paid on time every time and that you won’t forget to pay them or have to set aside time to process the payments. With an Acumen system, it is really easy to set up automatic payments and can be very beneficial for all parties.

Automate your Payments and Build a Relationship

A relationship with your supplier is extremely important to business success. So start off on the right foot with an Acumen point of sales system. Acumen POS has POS solutions that work for a variety of businesses. Within our POS there are functions to automate invoices and automate paying an invoice using the payment run feature and we can also set up multiple different payment methods to make it easy to pay suppliers or receive payments. If you are looking for a custom built POS solution don’t hesitate to get in touch.