How to build successful supplier relationships


22% of CPOs intend to direct more resources towards supplier relationship management (SRM) in 2017, according to Procurement Leaders’ most recent Trend Report, highlighting the importance that CPOs are placing on improving the relationships their functions have with suppliers.

A fully engaged supply base is vital to a procurement function. It can help deliver new products that help grab market share from competitors, improve manufacturing processes or drive sustainable performance.

There are a number of different ways in which procurement functions are trying to drive that engagement. Here are two of them.

Supplier websites

A user-friendly website helps a company showcase its offerings to customers. It also helps highlight a company’s values and its history.

Creating a website that is dedicated to a company’s suppliers allows a function to set out the standards it wishes suppliers to adhere to, information about how they can win contracts as well as the firm’s aims and success stories.

Transparency and clear communication is key to the success of any relationship and a website such as this that communicates this in the first instance sets a relationship off on the right foot. Updating it regularly with important information around risks and opportunities will also keep it strong for years to come.

Supplier events

Supplier days are another popular way of increasing engagement with suppliers and developing relationships.

Usually annual, these events see strategic suppliers invited to an external event where discussions centre around the search for new innovations as well as the company’s aims and product plans. They are designed to make relationships as open as possible.

Get it right and you’ll reap the rewards.

Having the right strategic suppliers is critical to helping the function and the business grow and develop. Finding new ways to engage with those suppliers is therefore crucial. Be it events, websites or something different, the key point is to ensure that suppliers are being engaged.