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Best Practices for Vendor Relationships

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If you’re in the manufacturing and distribution, you know how vital it is to create and maintain a healthy relationship with your vendors. Offering various ways for them to stay connected and up-to-date will not only create a mutually beneficial partnership but a long-lasting one as well.

Provide a Vendor Portal

Offering your vendors access to an exclusive portal allows for better collaboration between their business and yours. This is a more secure, concise way to communicate, which can be shared by several teams for more efficient communication rather than single-point contact via email. As the portal host, you can maintain and control important collateral such as parts specifications, drawings, contractual terms and conditions, and other relevant documents accessed by both buyer and vendor.

Establish a Supplier Approval Program 

A formal supplier certification program or other approval program forces communication regarding expectations and accountability.

Provide a Periodic Supplier Scorecard

A periodic supplies scorecard allows you to provide feedback on critical elements of your relationship such as on-time delivery and quality test results.  This mechanism consistently provides performance feedback for ongoing relationship improvements with your vendor.

Communicate Regularly

In order to promote and ensure accurate and on-time deliveries, regular communication is key. Consider having your ERP system request a “confirmation of delivery” 7 days before the due date, so your vendor can confirm that they will, or will not, meet the intended delivery schedule.

Invite Your Vendors to Visit Your Facility

Inviting vendors to your facility helps them understand your operations so that they can become a better business partner. Visit your vendors as well to see their operations and judge for yourself whether or not they can meet your expectations.


Managing vendor relationships can be overwhelming. That’s why you need a robust system in place to efficiently manage and streamline vendor communication. Start improving your vendor relationships today and give us a call to schedule a complimentary analysis at 877-428-8486 or contact us online.

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