BUYING WELL – Part one
To paraphrase Michael Jackson – start by looking at the man/woman in the mirror.
Before approaching a supplier, be they new or existing, with the intention of reducing your input costs take a good look at your own organisation. Do this by trying to see yourself through your suppliers’ eyes.
Start by describing what attributes your ideal client would have. Obvious traits are things like low credit risk and paying within terms. Consider your existing client base and make a list. Also consider what makes a bad client. For example are their communications clear and concise or are they a nightmare needing 20 phone calls where 1 would have done. Now you have a list of desirable attributes you need to measure yourself against them.
Are you a desirable client?
If not, consider what you can do about it. You may need to change your ways or you may just need to be a bit more creative. For example if you are not paying your bills on time, why are you not paying them on time. Is it cashflow?, is it slow administration? What can you do to change. Asking for extended terms may help as it is better to pay promptly on extended terms than late on shorter terms.