Partnership Working

Never kick a supplier when they are down - offer a helping hand instead !! Many a hard negotiating buyer  cannot resist the temptation of renegotiating a hard deal with a supplier on the ropes in a troubled market - the rationale being that when times are particularly tough, companies cannot afford to lose a key account and are therefore willing to sell their soul to keep the business.

While this is a common reality, the ramifications are broad, potentially dire, and unfortunately rarely fully understood. Undermining an already weak critical supplier has obvious attendant risks, but less obvious are the longer term consequences. Suppliers tend to provide the best service to the best customers, and when things get tight (which they always do coming out of the capacity downsizing cycle that inevitably accompanies a downturn), flexibility around capacity-constrained products, services and terms goes to the most profitable accounts. Build relationships with your suppliers that drive long-term success for both parties, and that will be mutually beneficial in the subsequent upturn that will inevitably follow.