Ten top tips for making the most of your supplier relationships

  1. Have Supplier Analysis Sessions (SAS) every year to detail everyone you use and ensure through an audit, you’re getting best value out of them. If you aren’t then be pro-active and negotiate a proper fee. Download the free white paper we have created to give you a kick start at the bottom of this page. One of our kerfuffle club members saved over £13,000 in a week by using this as a template to manage his key relationships. 

  2. Run your own NPS satisfaction scores on your staff regarding your suppliers - you may have a completely different view as to a suppliers worth compared to you staff. A lot of the time for example with CRM you have different requirements - principals need reporting and KPI’s whereas users tend to focus on day to day UI. But to then have that feedback to hand can be very useful.

  3. You really only need to have one KPI for every supplier and that’s ROI. Some are compliance based and mandatory but in my experience most suppliers tend to have a marketing or sales edge which can be quantified, but very few do. Normally this is perceived to be because it’s hard to measure. But getting the first key ROI stat is the important first step as it can always be improved on later. In my experience ROI only goes up from that point as you start assessing less obvious benefits.

  4. One rather draconian example was of an agent who used to cancel his direct debits every Christmas to see which suppliers surfaced. Those that did that matched with the staff missing the service got renewed.

  5. Have you asked your suppliers if they have a referral scheme for clients? Most suppliers despise giving away revenue on monthly fees but are ecstatic to give referral fees for any friends or peers within the industry you might refer. For you serial networkers who are meeting other agents all the time through the liked of RAN, Guild, F&C or PropertyMark - it should be a no-brainer for those suppliers you respect.

  6. Relationships are everything – make time for your suppliers and communicate with them. This is how Peter Lawrence from Lawrence Rand manages his supply chain.

  7. Get involved with your suppliers new product development says Kai Logan from Bradleys. Whilst most suppliers will have their favoured clients to help them develop their new or existing products, and some may not even use their clients, Bradleys have found that by having input into a product, not only can the supplier potentially shape it to fit their company but they also benefit from the product first too. They’re currently working on 2-3 on beta products but potentially would work with more given the opportunity. This also helps you deepen your relationship with suppliers – it’s a win win situation.

  8. If you apply the thought process that it’s no harder to be a good customer than it is a good supplier like Andrew Grant do, then that’s a good way to look at your relationship – it works both ways.

  9. Reward your staff for highlighting any issues with suppliers for areas of technology that are being under-used. They’re at the coalface so their feedback is vital.

  10. Use products like kerfuffle.it and www.unissu.com to keep an eye on new and trending innovations –  you have to keep evolving to stay at the forefront of your industry.

Download our latest supplier management white paper

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Let me do all the hard work and recommend products based on three simple questions

1. What are you trying to achieve?

Let me do all the hard work and recommend products based on three simple questions

2. How many offices do you have?

Let me do all the hard work and recommend products based on three simple questions

3. What is your budget?

Well done, that was easy. Once I’ve compiled a list of relevant suppliers where shall I send it?

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