Executive Briefings

The 'Perfect Marriage' Between Distributors and Suppliers

With supply chain collaboration becoming a hot topic for even the most independent, self-sufficient organizations, it's no wonder that more attention is being paid to the relationships between distributors and their suppliers.

Much like the "perfect" marriage comprises two individuals who balance each other out, offset each other's strengths and weaknesses, and even finish each other's sentences - the right distributor-supplier combination is a true win-win alliance for both parties. Ignore the need for such cohesion and it won't be long before you find yourself in divorce court (or in a business case that involves distributors and suppliers, looking for another, more compatible business partner).

In most cases, solid distributor-supplier relationships result in favorable pricing, generous terms, better product availability, and even buybacks. To take full advantage of these benefits, both sides of the equation work to nurture relationships with one another.

"Supplier relationships are typically undervalued as buy-side companies fail to see how a balanced relationship with their suppliers can benefit the buying company – it's a give-and-take type of alliance," writes Ivalua's Paul Noël in Using Technology To Boost Supplier Relationships. He points to e-sourcing tools (which make it easy to compare suppliers), real-time communication channels, and payment processing platforms as three of the tech-based facilitators that distributors and suppliers can use to shore up their relationships.

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Much like the "perfect" marriage comprises two individuals who balance each other out, offset each other's strengths and weaknesses, and even finish each other's sentences - the right distributor-supplier combination is a true win-win alliance for both parties. Ignore the need for such cohesion and it won't be long before you find yourself in divorce court (or in a business case that involves distributors and suppliers, looking for another, more compatible business partner).

In most cases, solid distributor-supplier relationships result in favorable pricing, generous terms, better product availability, and even buybacks. To take full advantage of these benefits, both sides of the equation work to nurture relationships with one another.

"Supplier relationships are typically undervalued as buy-side companies fail to see how a balanced relationship with their suppliers can benefit the buying company – it's a give-and-take type of alliance," writes Ivalua's Paul Noël in Using Technology To Boost Supplier Relationships. He points to e-sourcing tools (which make it easy to compare suppliers), real-time communication channels, and payment processing platforms as three of the tech-based facilitators that distributors and suppliers can use to shore up their relationships.

Read Full Article