Two Ways To View Vendor Management
Your vendors are a vital part of your business, and the way you view vendor management will determine the way this essential part of your supply chain functions. After all, vendors supply you with the things you sell or services you need. When you are operating a number of channels to sell to the public, you need that supply to come in smoothly to your location, online or off.
Vendor or Vending Machine?
The way you treat your vendors will affect the way the relationship goes. Every vendor hopes to have a long-term relationship with their clients and the better your communication, the better the relationship.
- Vending machines work by poking money in a slot and grabbing the item that pops out.
- Vendors are people with a business to run and bills to pay who provide a product to make a living.
If you are viewing vendors as vending machines, there will be glitches in your supply chain because you are not seeing the reality of the situation. After all, even a vending machine is filled by a human who is probably the vendor under a contract to keep it full of the requested items. So since your supply depends on people, it’s a good idea to clarify the details so everyone is aware of what’s expected.
Don’t assume the vendor knows what you are thinking. Make a clear contract and define your expectations, including consequences for failure. Everybody needs to be on the same page with this so your team isn’t sending mixed signals. Price may be important, but speed to market and reliability is worth more than an empty promise for a bargain.
Many retailers find it best to have several vendors supplying the same products, if possible. This keeps a consistent source of items despite individual issues and prevents a monopoly where negotiations are more difficult. Once your contract is established, it’s important to monitor the results and ensure those expectations are still being met.
ChainDrive has designed software to help you keep track of what is going on in real time, whether you are online or on the floor.Â Product and Vendor ManagementÂ is part of the Web Order Fulfillment component and gives you the tools you need to do this easily. The system allows you to create, define, sort, filter, and analyze all the data from your inventory and its suppliers so you can partner with your vendors to benefit both sides.