It doesn’t take long for a business to realize that it needs allies to provide products or services to customers. At the heart of business operations is the acceptance that it’s better for you to focus on one thing—product development—and let more qualified individuals do the rest. That means that you need to build a strong relationship with vendors and third-party suppliers, who offer you everything, from raw materials to services that help you grow your business. Here’s how to manage a good relationship with them:

Pay on Time

The easiest way to lose your vendors is by ignoring their request for timely payment. They are not requesting that you pay them ahead of time; what they want is for you to give them what’s due: the payment for services rendered. When you’re doing everything manually, it’s easy for deadlines to slip your mind, and this is where the problem starts.

It’s forgivable to forget it once, especially when there has been a holiday coinciding with the regular payment schedule. However, do it several times, and you’ll be losing your vendors in no time. That’s why companies choose to automate this process through vendor management provided by ServiceNow, which keeps track of your vendors and their scheduled payment. It may be as easy as a click to complete payment for their services through this management platform.

Recognize Their Services

You have a good relationship with your vendors when both parties do more than the bare minimum when interacting with one another. Simple words of thanks go a long way in making the other party feel like an integral part of the business. You don’t have to spend on corporate gifts for vendors during the holidays, but they sure will appreciate it and may even repay you in kind. But it’s not the gifts that you’re most interested in. When you are in a mutually beneficial relationship with vendors, you might just get discounts from additional orders or services you require from them. It saves you money, and all you had to do was be nice to them.

Be Transparent

two people in a warehouseIt’s good for your business to have a variety. When one vendor fails to deliver their end of the bargain, having others to rely on will ensure that your business operation will not suffer. However, this should be clear in your agreement so that vendors do not expect exclusive rights to work with you. They, too, have competitors. If you’re working with competitors under the table, this will not look like a show of good faith.

A carefully drafted contact between you and individual vendors should mention that you may work with several vendors to fulfill the needs of your business. Take care not to use the word “exclusive” as it may sound misleading when you eventually find other vendors to fill the gap others have left behind.

The relationship between companies and vendors can be strong and enduring because they need each other. It’s even better, of course, if there is mutual respect.