swimming pool association

Supplier relationships: a two-way street

Larry Drumb
Cool Pools by Larry

As a service company for the past 23 years, I have developed long-term relationships with my suppliers, which I feel as a business owner is crucial. By maintaining a strong relationship with them I can provide the best service possible for our clients at Cool Pools by Larry.

I know when I have questions there is someone who I can call upon to get them answered quickly. I know when I have equipment issues I can get the solution fast. I know when I need an item for our chapter’s online auction who I can count on. The list goes on and on but it dawned on me lately that the relationship we have with our suppliers is very much like that of our own customers.

PAYING ON TIME

Whatever your terms may be, whether they are 30 days or COD, it’s important to make sure to pay your suppliers promptly; just as you want your customers to pay  your invoices on the dates due. Ensuring that your business is paying on time gives the suppliers trust in you which makes for a stronger business relationship and may open the door to specials.

PROVIDING THE BEST SERVICE

In Deland where my business is located, I know I’m not the cheapest service company, although I feel that we are one of the best. My prices reflect that confidence. Same goes for your suppliers. You pay for what you get and I recommend remembering that when you are working with them. Service, education, and communication go a long way, sometimes more than the bottom line.

TWO-WAY STREET

Just as we take care of our customers so should our suppliers take care of us. Remembering which customers of yours are the biggest headaches may come in handy when dealing with the expectations you have of your suppliers. Often 20% of our customers take up 80% of our time and that shouldn’t be the case. If you are finding the relationship with your supplier isn’t the best it can be, think about your role in that and go from there.

Those who we pay and those who pay us have a unique relationship in how our businesses grow strong. Taking care of both relationships will only help your business in the present and future.

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