I spend so much time pushing goods and services that sometimes I forget to look at the shelf to see if it is full or not.
During a recession managing relationships on the supplier side can take on a different tone. If a key supplier goes out of business you could be in trouble. As a buyer you need to work with your existing suppliers during these tough times, while at the same time developing alternative sources of needed goods and services for a worst case scenario.
I have been a big advocate in setting out 1 month, 3 month, 1 year and 5 year goals and plans so what part does forecasting your raw material needs do and (oh my gosh) sharing it with your suppliers so they can plan better. This is a way you can keep your supply pipeline full so you have the stock to sell, sell, sell.
Larson Notes: Can’t sell off an empty shelf. If you can work with your suppliers they can give you the kind of help you need to keep your inventory (cost) low and your sales (gain) high and your product turnover rations above your competition. In addition, your supplier might be able to help you in your inventory control. You might want to have an idea of how much of a % your business is to a given supplier. If you need to decrease the business you will want to know how much that will impact a one of your (key) suppliers. That way you know if you need to have a back up list of potential suppliers, which is always good to have anyway.
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