Though we increasingly rely on technology for automation, connectivity and better data management - good business still rests on human interaction. By regularly interacting with your suppliers can help build a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.
Having a strong and responsive supply chain can help you become a truly lean and agile company, where you can quickly respond to changes in the marketplace. In other words, having suppliers, and then having a good relationship with your suppliers can be two different things and make a big difference to business operations.
Here are six ways ERP software can take supplier relationship management to a whole new level.
1. Creating engaged supplier relationships
According to psychologists and business strategists, competence and warmth are the two most valuable attributes in business dealings; so they are crucial to building and maintaining the best possible relationships with your suppliers. One of the ways to demonstrate both is to ensure that your communications are of the highest quality.
For example, using ERP for inventory control gives you a basis for more intuitive communications, offering better lead times, earlier warnings for quantity adjustments and more reliable predictive modelling. This will not only improve resource planning but undoubtedly help build supplier respect.
2. More sharable and auditable control systems
Your competence and warmth can also be ably demonstrated by the way you share information with suppliers.
An ERP system provides you with shareable data to improve supply arrangements and monitor performance. It cuts down the need for separate emails and other documentation. If a supplier requests information from you, you are in a position to use your ERP business management capabilities to provide a quicker response and keep a log of all communications.
3. Better management means a smoother ride
ERP software can be used to manage the sales and purchasing processes from start-to-finish. The improved management of processes can all add value to your supplier relationships. All supplier details such as payment terms, lead times, prices and products can be quickly viewed making communications and the ordering process quicker. Other things like making timely payments will also add to the potential for suppliers to feel a greater commitment to your business success.
4. Clarity and control
Good supplier relationships require a level of transparency. An integrated system will not only help you to create a robust supply chain but ultimately a lean and agile business. This may require you to make changes to your inventory, production and fulfilment processes, some of which may impact your suppliers. But they too might want to create a lean and agile supply chain.
A well implemented and integrated ERP software will balance your sales demand, buying processes and inventory control with the capabilities and capacities of your suppliers. It is conducive to more transparent dealings and encourages a better understanding of both parties’ business needs.
5. Timesaving initiatives
Improving and automating processes can save time, increase productivity and improve relationships. ERP software for supplier relationship management can assist in automating tasks, making processes swifter and more streamlined for both sides of the partnership. For example, in Inventory Management automation can be used to help keep stock at the right levels, where purchase orders can be automatically raised when the stock reaches a certain level.
6. Greater productivity benefits everyone
Increased productivity means better utilisation of resources, cost-savings and potential business growth. Growth means more stock purchases from your supply chain - and what supplier is going to argue with the promise of increasing sales on the horizon!
To discuss more ways ERP software can improve business relationships and processes, contact us today.