How to Develop Strong Vendor Relationships & Strategic Partnerships

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, internal communication and alignment are key factors for a Procurement team who wishes to increase their real and perceived value to their organization, as well as their influence.  The vision for the Procurement team should align with the vision for the overall organization. Additionally, being able to effectively communicate Procurement’s impact on the company’s mission and vision is critical to success.

In this post, I’d like to further suggest that Procurement view their external counterparts in a similar way that they approach their internal counterparts. For example, be clear with your potential vendors about your mission, values and vision as much as possible.

I’ve personally found internal (and external) alignment fosters better collaboration and communication (with a common goal). A common theme from industry research, seminars, and roundtable discussions suggests many Procurement teams struggle to identify truly strategic suppliers. Developing a true partnership with a supplier that goes beyond the traditional buyer/seller relationship considers the best possible outcome for both parties.

Developing strong internal relationships starts with clear and forthright communication, such as speaking the same language as the supplier. Additionally, taking the time to share each organization’s mission, core values and vision is tremendously helpful to understanding early on if the two parties will be able to speak the same language and share goals and values that strongly align. This alignment allows both parties to communicate and interact in a way that considers both parties mutual values and goals. If this is clear to both parties, an open and honest working relationship is inevitable.

We want to hear your successes (or struggles) on this topic! Share your comments below or tweet us @iasta.

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