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Technology can be viewed as a good and bad thing, but primarily in business it offers tremendous opportunity. For supplier relationships, it delivers a long list of benefits. From expanding your reach to suppliers to offering better and faster communication, technology can boost supplier relationships. However, it can also present some risks and downsides too. As a business owner, you’ll want to make sound decisions, and avoid temptation of things that sound too good to be true. When it comes to technology we must know what to leverage, and what to refrain from. With the goal being to grow your business, we provide valuable insights as to how to boost supplier relationships with technology. 

Benefits of using technology to boost supplier relationships

  • Better communication: Communication is key in everything we do. We often overlook how easy it is to reach a business or person nowadays – thanks to technology. From email to text messages to applications that allow us to view our account and receive support, communication is more accessible. The one thing that is still dependent upon you though is to deliver the right messages. Stop to think about how you say things or what you want to accomplish when communicating. Being easy to deal with is a great way to gain trust with your supplier. 
  • Collaboration: With the ability to snapshot a picture over in a matter of seconds or send a text with a brilliant idea, we can collaborate with partners. Maybe it’s even through video calls that you collaborate. Regardless of the way, there are endless ways to work closely with suppliers for better collaboration. On the suppliers end, this can allow them to better meet your needs, thus increasing their chance of retaining the account. Technology can benefit both you and your supplier, and this is just one example of that.
  • Improved transparency: Thanks to technology we can know what’s going on without picking up the phone in most cases. From tracking orders to viewing contracts via the click of a button, we can stay in the know. Choose a supplier that invests in technology that allows them to deliver transparency for partners. 
  • Increased access to funding: Technology and the internet creates opportunity for business owners. Beyond selling more products in the e-commerce space, you can access funding or e-commerce financing options too. Leveraging inventory financing can give you more buying power, which is yet another way to build a better relationship with suppliers. Who knows, they may even be willing to offer better pricing for bulk or standing orders. 

Which technologies can be used to boost supplier relationships?

  • Cloud based solutions: Often used to streamline communication and visibility. Examples of cloud based solutions that update in real-time include cloud drives that allow documents to be shared, project management programs, and reporting dashboards. 
  • Applications: Suppliers can offer applications that can be customized for customers. Through these applications, customers can access things such as order tracking, contracts, or message boards. 
  • Cell phones: In today’s world most of us are given a cell phone, not a landline or extension, although we may still have those too. With portable technology such as cell phones and tablets, we are easier to reach, even on-the-go.
  • Inventory management systems: Inventory management systems can automatically re-order products as needed. It can also help you gauge season slumps or season speed-ups. Being able to provide suppliers with accurate updates on the sales cycle can encourage them to work with you.
  • Inventory financing: Inventory financing can provide the funds you need to order inventory, without tangling up cash. With the power to keep investing in your business without stocking less inventory, you can grow faster. For suppliers, this can mean getting paid faster and holding more consistent orders. Both of these outcomes can make you more desirable to work with, thus building trust. 

Tips for supplier relationship management in relation to technology

  • Use technology properly: Technology should be properly used in order to be as effective as possible. It’s easy to get sucked into too much technology, which can actually lead to inaccuracy and confusion. Before deploying technology make sure you need it and make sure there’s no overlap that could cause confusion. 
  • Leverage competition without breaking relationships: With technology, we have more access to options. While this can deliver the opportunity to pick your head up and compare offers and offerings from time-to-time, be mindful of the relationship you have built. Find ways to professionally and respectfully leverage the information to renegotiate or prove there are better ways to do things. 
  • Align technologies: Once you’ve found your supplier, align technologies to ensure all are operating on the same page. As you shop suppliers it can be helpful to discuss technology as it can help you make your decision. 

How Kickfurther can help

Paying suppliers on time and being equipped with cash to order inventory on a regular basis can help build relationships, technology set aside. At Kickfurther you can get funding for up to 100% of your inventory with no immediate repayments. Plus, funding through Kickfurther is up to 30% lower cost than comparable options. Through our entrepreneur-centric platform, business owners can create a business profile to showcase their business pitch. Through the details you provide, our community of backers can choose to provide the funding you need. This creates the opportunity for two passionate parties to come together in pursuit of success. Our funding model is much different than others you may have heard of. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  1. No immediate repayments. You control repayment. Don’t pay until your product sells.
  2. Non-dilutive. Maintain equity in your business, we know how hard you worked for it. We are here to work with you, not against you. 
  3. Not a debt. Because you have enough financial strain, this is not a loan. 
  4. Upfront capital. Pay suppliers faster with upfront capital, there when you need it

Closing thoughts

Suppliers play a critical role in the success of your business. Finding trusted partners that meet your needs, or exceed them, can keep your business growing. Communication on the other hand is also extremely important in everything we do in business and our personal lives. With communication being more accessible thanks to technology, it’s important to remind ourselves of the power of words. Even if it’s a quick text, stop to think through your message before sending. Just because we are all more accessible, does not mean we have to respond right away. The person on the other end of the message deserves a clear response that you mean. As you work toward growing a business you are overly proud of, you may need funding along the way. If inventory funding can boost growth while helping your supplier relationship, visit Kickfurther for affordable and flexible options. 

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