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3 Clear Benefits of Fostering Close Relationships with Suppliers and Other Companies

(This is a contributed post)

We live, today, in a world where more and more people are working as freelancers and contractors, and more and more people are turning to freelancers and contractors in order to get the cheapest and most flexible deals in their professional dealings.

At the same time, we live in an age where business is, likely more than ever before, driven by KPI’s and the desire to cut costs at every possible opportunity.

One consequence of this has been that the traditional long-standing professional relationships between any given business and their suppliers, or other companies, are more in question and less secure today than at many other points in the recent past.

While there may be some pragmatic upsides to this, there are also some very clear downsides. Here are a few benefits of fostering close relationships with suppliers and other companies.

You can avoid crises that befall other companies

Many companies who rely on more informal and temporary business relationships find themselves in serious trouble when those companies or providers they rely on flake out, demand different terms on a dime, or otherwise act unpredictably.

Likewise, the workings of the market are mysterious, and it’s impossible to predict every potential upheaval before it occurs. The less solid and established your working relationships are with other companies, the more likely they are to be brought into question by any uncertainty that might befall you.

Having strong and close ties with companies who provide essential services that you depend on, can help you to avoid these crises that may well level the opposition.

If your business relies heavily on efficient water treatment systems, for example, it is absolutely in your interest to have strong ties with a specialist company in that field, who have an impeccable track record, even if it’s more costly in the short term.

You have an assurance of quality

There was a scandal recently in the UK, where that country’s branch of the KFC restaurant infamously “ran out of chicken” for a time.

As you can imagine, it doesn’t get much worse for a restaurant chain that exclusively serves chicken, to run out of chicken. Hundreds of outlets had to be closed, an untold amount of money was lost, and everything was a complete mess.

The reason for this business crisis? KFC had decided to switch from their long-standing relationship with the Bidvest company, to the logistics company DHL. The reason? Cost cutting.

An established relationship with a company is a known quantity. If you’re getting quality service, and have been consistently, you have an assurance of quality. Not so, otherwise.

You can more reliably plan for the future

When you develop and nurture long-standing relationships with trusted companies, you have a much greater degree of security and predictability when it comes to planning for the future.

You can, in most cases, reliably assume that you won’t be let down out of the blue, and that operations will proceed roughly as they are at present.

If you don’t have this level of reliability in place, writing out your five-year development strategy may well be futile, and the natural chaos and unpredictability of the future may well break your company.

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