Purchasing is the process of acquiring a service or good in exchange for something of similar value, in this case money. Therefore it is important to create a good and lasting relationship between the non-purchasing personnel and the suppliers to ensure they both have a long business relationship in the future. This can be achieved by identifying the most common queries and topics that the non-purchaser and the suppliers can talk about (Flawkes, 2012). These topics are essential in developing a market with symmetrical information, creating a fluid market where suppliers, non-suppliers, clients, prospective clients and prospective suppliers have all the information they need to enter and leave the market freely and fluidly. They include the following;
- the quality of services by the supplier
- the reputation of the supplier in the market
- the experience of the supplier in handling the needs of the purchasing personnel,
- the past and present customers of the supplier and their experiences with the supplier.
The topics are minimal and shallow as compared to purchasing personnel. Purchasing personnel on the other hand have specific topics they discuss with suppliers. This is because confidentiality and information security is key in ensuring a safe and secure purchasing process with information symmetry for all parties involved (MindTools.com, 2013). They include;
The financial stability of the supplier, hence ensuring the supplier is around in the future and thus delivers when needed.
Secondly, the ability of the supplier in understanding the specific needs of the purchasing personnel and if the supplier has worked with other related customers.
Thirdly, services rendered by the supplier and if they will keep the same standards and quality, ensuring they supply has the best interest of the purchasing personnel at heart.
The fourth topic involves the ability of the supplier to remain cost-effective in the market, ensuring the purchasing personnel’s peace of mind, in that they only pay competitive rates today and in the future.
The last topic tries to find out in details as to what makes the supplier different from others and stand out among other suppliers in the market. Hence finding out exactly what the supplier can do for the purchasing personnel that other suppliers cannot deliver, thus looking for elements that will help the purchasing personnel relate to the suppliers products and/or services beyond the simple statements about low prices, best services and great quality (MindTools.com, 2013).
With the above topics emerges a number of risks that need to be managed. The risks include; incompetence, this can be worked out by asking and inquiring about the services of the supplier to other customers and if they happy with the suppliers work. The other risk is capacity, this is prevented by getting full details of the suppliers resources and ensuring they have enough capacity to meet your every need and respond to these effectively even with market fluctuations, hence making sure commitments to other past and present customers are considered (Flawkes, 2012). The third risk is consistency, this can be dealt with by keeping an eye on past processes and procedures when handling other clients, thus ensuring that you the purchasing personnel gets the best. Last but not least, culture, the best business relationships are based on closely matching workplace values. Therefore ensuring that the culture practiced by the supplier is close to what the purchasing personnel is accustomed to.
Flawkes, C. (2012, July 24). Five Questions Buyers Must Ask Suppliers. Retrieved from Carlflwakes.com: http://www.carlfawkes.com/2012/07/five-questions-buyers-must-ask-suppliers/
MindTools.com. (2013, January 10). 10 Cs of Supplier Evaluation. Retrieved from MindTools: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/10-cs.htm