Strong supplier relationships and how to develop them

When you invest in developing key business collaborations, both your SMB and its suppliers can reap the rewards of your efforts.

A rising tide raises all boats.  This common phrase offers a perfect explanation of why strong supplier and partner relationships are essential to the success of your small or medium-sized business (SMB).

When you invest in developing key business collaborations, both your SMB and its suppliers can reap the rewards of your efforts.  

Despite the need for strong partnerships, supplier management remains one of the biggest challenges SMB owners face today. Current supplier management solutions fall short, and the cumbersome point-to-point solutions that are available often create new problems of their own. 

Yet this story can still have a happy ending for your business. The Markaaz team has created a one-of-a-kind solution to help SMBs manage supplier relationships more confidently.  

Below you’ll find three meaningful benefits your business can enjoy when you develop strong relationships with suppliers and partners. And more importantly, you’ll discover the system we’ve put in place to help you create those valuable supplier relationships in the first place. 

Benefit #1: Reduce costs 

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of building strong supplier and partner relationships is the money it can save you. Cost reduction is a critical step toward more profits and a better bottom line.  

Solid supplier relationships can help your SMB cuts costs in many areas, such as: 

  • New supplier research and verification. Locating and verifying new suppliers is a time-consuming and expensive process. Estimates show that the onboarding process may cost SMBs between $2,400 to $35,000 per new supplier. 
  • Re-verification of current suppliers. Reducing the time spent verifying (and re-verifying) suppliers is especially important in the COVID era, where supply chain risk is high. Some 52% of businesses are compelled to re-verify suppliers due to pandemic-related changes.  
  • Supplier consolidation. When your SMB develops strong relationships with key vendors, you may be able to reduce the number of suppliers it works with. This could help your business cut administration costs. Your SMB may also save on shipping costs and benefit from volume-related purchasing discounts.  
  • Reduction of quality issues. By maintaining a relationship with a top supplier, you may reduce the risk of quality issues (and the added expenses associated with such problems). One study found that as many as 52% of product recalls stemming from supplier and contract manufacturing problems.  

Benefit #2: Increase efficiency 

Strong supplier relationships can also help your business become more efficient. A long-term, dependable relationship with a key supplier can simplify many processes for your SMB, including: 

Inventory management. When your business works with quality suppliers you can trust, it’s easier to manage inventory needs—both present and future.  

  • Speedier supply chain. A smoother, faster supply chain can not only help your SMB meet its performance goals now, but your business may also more efficiently chart plans to grow and expand. 
  • Payment management. Ongoing relationships with dependable vendors can simplify the payment management process for your SMB. When you pay your suppliers promptly, you’re less likely to encounter headaches like slow order fulfillment, late fees, and other potential issues.  
  • Problem-solving capability. It’s inevitable that challenges will arise in your supply chain from time to time. But when issues do occur, a strong supplier relationship makes it easier for both parties to seek mutually beneficial solutions rather than playing the blame game. 

Benefit #3: A happier team 

Your team is your company’s greatest asset. So, anything you can do to reduce stress and improve the work environment for your employees can pay big dividends.  

When you contract with dependable suppliers and work to maintain those relationships, it makes it easier for your team members to do their jobs.  

  • Administration and accounting tasks become easier.  
  • Inventory management is simplified.
  • Product fulfillment is easier to execute.  
  • Customer service team members field fewer complaints about shipping delays and quality issues.  

Not only is taking good care of your employees the right thing to do, but happy employees are also willing to put more effort into their tasks. In fact, happy workers are 13% more productive, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Oxford, MIT, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.   

The challenge of building strong supplier relationships  

Now that you understand why strong supplier relationships matter, the next step is charting a path to forge such relationships for your business. Unfortunately, it’s a goal that isn’t always so easy to accomplish.  

The sheer number of point-to-point solutions available to manage supplier verification, supplier relationships, payments, and more can be overwhelming. (On average, an SMB subscribes to more than 20 different platforms.) Worse, many point solutions do not communicate with one another, and technology disconnect costs businesses both time and money.  

When your SMB lacks the resources and tools that big businesses have at their disposal, it can put you at a disadvantage in the supplier verification space. Thankfully, our team at Markaaz has developed an innovative new solution to help you even the playing field.  

The Solution: Verified by Markaaz 

The Markaaz Directory offers a one-stop solution for small and medium-size businesses to verify suppliers and become verified themselves. The system empowers SMBs to make supply chain decisions with greater confidence through scoring powered by Equifax.  

Your SMB can use the Markaaz Directory to: 

  • Find trusted suppliers instantly. 
  • Monitor suppliers on the spot. 
  • Get paid faster.

And you can even use the platform to monitor your own business (including your business risk score powered by Equifax) as well.  

The verification and monitoring capabilities of the Markaaz Directory are unmatched. When a supplier activates its business with Markaaz, it undergoes both Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) verifications, AML checks, and more. As a result, you can have confidence that the activated suppliers and partners you find in the Markaaz Directory have been verified to the highest standards. This enables you to minimize risk and maximize profits. 

Through cutting-edge technology—using the cloud, blockchain, and AI capabilities—Markaaz connects SMBs to a world of opportunity. The platform currently provides access to more than 119 million pre-verified businesses. (By the end of 2021, we project that number to exceed 300 million.) SMBs that use the Markaaz Directory could potentially reduce the time it takes to find a new supplier by as much as 92%.  

Strong supplier relationships can give your business the edge it needs to not only survive during these uncertain times but to thrive. And the Markaaz Directory puts the capability to develop and maintain those relationships within reach. Since SMBs employ nearly 60 million people in the United States—almost half of the country’s private workforce—a win for small businesses is a win for us all.  
Hany Fam, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder, Markaaz 

About the author: Hany Fam is CEO and founder of Markaaz and a transformational leader with a track record of building global platforms and businesses. He is an Official Member of the Forbes Business Council and a Member of The World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators. Fam is focused on creating positive and sustainable impact for small business owners through the world’s first global platform to verify and connect small businesses and the network of partners that support them. Prior to founding Markaaz, Fam held global leadership roles in business transformation, value creation and technology, gaining depth of experience in payments, B2B platforms, enterprise partnerships and SaaS. He served as CEO of AXA Global Enterprise & Partnerships, Founder & President of Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships and President of Mastercard UK & Ireland Markets. He also held roles in Applied Technology including as the CTO of Toshiba International’s Heavy Industrial business in Australasia. Under Fam’s leadership, Mastercard Track was launched, the first and only global trading platform connecting every supplier and buyer on the planet to simplify and automate the exchange of payments and related data.  

Follow Hany on LinkedIn & Twitter today.  

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