At Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB), we live and breathe Supplier Engagement. Everything we do is aimed at helping retailers to build a fruitful relationship with their suppliers.
What we sometimes forget is that Supplier Engagement still isn’t a concept that is recognized everywhere. So, I’m going to spend the next few weeks unpacking the basics under the title 3 things your boss wants to know about Supplier Engagement. Because, believe me, he does want to know – he just doesn’t know it yet.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Part 1: Why Your Brand Needs Supplier Engagement
Any new kid on the block gets their fair share of scrutiny and scepticism. And Supplier Engagement is no different. After all, you’ve got this far without it – so, do you really need it?
Successful Engagement Results in Business Success
First of all, the principles of Supplier Engagement are actually nothing new. They have been applied time and time again to different communities of value – customers for a long time, and employees in the last decade – with the same result. Success.
Focusing on growing the motivation and understanding of a group of individuals through communication, support and transparency improves every single interaction they are part of:
They know how; so they can.
They know why; so they do.
Engagement is Not a Choice, Successful Engagement Is
In short, the way in which you Engage with your Suppliers has an impact on the quality of every interaction you have with them – whether you chose to focus on it or not. That’s dozens if not hundreds of interactions every day which that could be more efficient, effective and valuable. This is especially important in Retail Private Label, where so much is dependent on accurate and efficient relationships with Suppliers.
In an industry like Retail where you’re constantly being challenged to deliver more on ever tighter budgets and there is the need to move at pace; the opportunities offered by Supplier Engagement simply cannot be ignored.
Getting started can feel daunting. Especially if you’re not sure how Supplier Engagement fits into your existing Supplier Management strategy. Importantly it is not about replacing your current solutions but enhancing them and increasing the return on investment.
Next week I’ll share how I believe it is possible to integrate key principles into your existing strategy to reap the rewards of successful Supplier Engagement.
In the meantime, why not learn some immediately actionable Supplier Engagement tips:
7 Ways to Optimize your Supplier Knowledgebase for Supplier Self-Help
How to Increase the number of Suppliers opening your emails and reduce chasing
How to Use Automated Communications to Support Your Private Brand Supplier Performance Management (SPM)