“This article has been produced by an independent contributor and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Immediation team or the brand as a whole.”
Running a business that involves a supply chain can be challenging. There is an undeniable fact that your suppliers have a direct influence on your business – which also means that your relationship with your suppliers matter.
Beyond the challenge of finding a good, reliable supplier that is also within budget, you also have to develop the professional supplier relationship for a productive and profitable future.
As much as your business is important to your supplier, you have to realise that your business is just one of their many customers.
It’s always best to work with your supplier in resolving any supplier issues and give them the benefit of doubt if expectations aren’t immediately met. If you aim to be a great customer for your supplier, a professional supplier will appreciate your conduct and in turn help you out in the long run.
What to do when you have a supplier issue
While you can try your best to develop a positive supplier relationship, supplier disputes can still happen. Luckily, most supplier issues can be resolved quickly and amicably with a bit of common sense.
Check your facts
If there is a supplier agreement in place, it’s time to review it and read the terms carefully. The contract may help you understand the problem and may even help you figure out a way to resolve the dispute as agreed in the terms.
Get in touch with your supplier
Instead of jumping the gun, why not talk it out with your supplier? A simple discussion about the expectation, current situation and problems can help your supplier understand your position and work toward resolving the issue.
Listen to what your supplier has to say
There are always two sides to a story which is why it can help if you put yourself in your supplier’s shoes. This may help you recognise and understand the issue.
Maybe you needed a product desperately but only Brand Choice B was available and your supplier understood your needs and went out their way to try and resolve it. Perhaps your business would have slumped without the product in stock at all and that by replacing Brand Choice A with Brand Choice B, your supplier helped you avoid significant losses.
Hear them out and put yourself in their position to understand what went wrong.
Having tangible evidence of dealings will help you keep track of events. These records will prove helpful especially when your supplier dispute escalates further.
Be calm and professional always
Always remember that a supplier issue could be nothing but a simple misunderstanding. Always enter a conversation with your supplier calmly and professionally as this will put you in good light, especially when you want to evidence that you have been reasonable throughout the relationship.
Mediating a supplier issue as a small business
The nature of mediation is cooperative with the aim of working together to find a solution that everyone agrees with. Mediation is the ideal route of engaging a professional to help resolve a supplier issue as a small business.
Online mediation takes the best elements of mediation with the added advantage of flexible schedules that can work outside of business hours, easy logistics such as the comfort of your home, access to expert mediators, lower costs by up to 98% when compared with litigation, 30 day outcomes and the priceless benefit of maintaining a good relationship with your supplier.