Keep the good ones going – Once you’ve established a relationship with a trustworthy vendor, make sure you continue to build it. Like any relationship, building rapport and trust will increase the security and resiliency of your supply chain, even when weather, market conditions or environmental risks create challenges.
Ethics, sustainability and responsibility
Customers want to patronize businesses that are aligned with their values. They want to deal with sustainable and responsible enterprises that reflect and embody their ethics. The same is true in business-to-business relationships. You want to find and work with supply chain partners that are aligned with who you are and reflect the same characteristics you hold to be important. Make sure you talk about what’s important to you and your business as you build relationships with suppliers and contractors, including delicate subjects like human rights, social justice, equality and diversity.
Your business is only as good as its supply chain. Even when you’re just starting out, you want to manage your supply chain with risk in mind, planning for the worst while expecting the best. As you manage risk in your supply chain, consider:
Marketing intelligence – Larger businesses can hire other companies to keep them informed about what’s going on in the marketplace. As a small business, you will need to do this work yourself. Staying up to date on news and trends will help you stay a step or two ahead of the competition. That said, your suppliers and contractors may be willing to keep you in the loop as well, so don’t hesitate to ask them.
Supply chain continuity – The supply chain itself changes continually. Things like trade wars, climate change and yes – global pandemics – can upend your supply chain. Continually reevaluate your risk in light of events that are happening domestically and around the world, such as product recalls, safety notices, industry or societal unrest, etc. so you can be agile while protecting the bottom line and the needs of your customers.