If there are individual people or outside organizations that are not on your business’s payroll but still provide it with a product or a service, then you have suppliers. To ensure that you get a profitable and fair deal from all these external forces that you deal with, you have to resolve to manage them in as proactive and assertive a manner as possible.
When you come to doing so, make sure you consider allowing modern technology to help you. When you do, you’ll make your managing task far easier, both for you and your suppliers. To see what types of tech you should be using, make sure to read on.
Tech that improves efficiency
Efficiency is key when it comes to collaborating with your suppliers. Without it, neither party is going to know what orders have been placed, what volume of work is being demanded, or what deadlines have been established. So, you have to be using tech that improves it.
First of all, you absolutely must be ensuring that you are using a high-speed Internet connection at all times. Without one, you make yourself liable to miss out on crucial updates from your suppliers regarding the services and products that you have asked or paid for. For instance, you make analyzing your ongoing sales, orders and even market trends in real-time a near-impossible task, you take away your ability to forecast changes in your market and subsequently make quick tweaks in anticipation for them; and you take away your ability to read information about your orders and supplies that is accurate, which then makes you far more likely to either over or under order.
When you have a strong Internet connection in place that is running at its optimum speed and ability, it’s time for you to start using online platforms that allow you to e-collaborate with your suppliers. This can mean anything, from using simple platforms such as email and spreadsheets to embracing something a bit more technical, like inventory planning tech. In regards to the latter, no matter how difficult it might be to get used to at first, you have to consider embracing it as it allows you to tap into and share information in real-time. Specifically, what inventory planning technology will offer you is the chance to forecast the market demand for the products and services that you seek to sell on in the long run.
Other forms of real-time technology that you should be using to forge e-collaboration with your suppliers include online analytical process systems, as they offer you the chance to check out the past sales performances of the suppliers that you seek to work with, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as they help you to place and then track your orders.
Tech that manages invoicing
Your suppliers will be sending you an invoice for the work that they do for you. Even though it’s their task to ensure that they use an invoicing and payment system that is proficient enough to ensure no errors are made, when mistakes do occur, the unnecessary task of sorting the situation out and even fixing it can fall to you. More to the point, if things were to go wrong and you were to be accused of not paying up, you could find yourself paying more than you need to your suppliers in the long run.
In order to save yourself the hassle of dealing with it going forward, you should be ensuring that nothing goes awry in regards to the matter of invoicing by imploring with your supplier that they be professional with everything that they do in regards to it. First and foremost, this means getting them to always send their prices over on an authentic purchase order sheet — a free printable purchase order template can be found at Aynax. In regard to payment, you have to ensure everything is done by the book and that the money goes through the right and legal channels, and is never given in hand.
Tech that boosts supplier relations
You don’t have to be best friends with your suppliers, but you do need a healthy relationship with them if you want your partnership to be as fruitful as can be. Fortunately, there are a number of pieces of tech that are designed to boost supplier relations — these include simple communication channels, such as WhatsApp, which, when used while connected to Wi-Fi, will allow you to communicate with them freely all day long.