Building a good relationship takes time, honesty, and ongoing communication and evaluation. Your relationships with your suppliers are no different. When you go out to tender publicly, you may be faced with offers from organisations you don’t know at all, but you also need to ask yourself: how well do you really know your existing suppliers?

In today’s economic environment, business failure is not uncommon, so there is an increasing need to fully understand the risks associated with all your suppliers – including the preferred providers you’ve been using for a while. The reality is, entering into any serious relationship is risky. You don’t know much about your prospective partner or their history, and no one wants to be connected to a business that’s at risk of failure or has a bad reputation.

With this in mind, it makes sense to utilise the tools and technology available to do your research and identify any relationship deal-breakers. As a buyer, you want assurance that you are choosing a partner who is ready to make a long-term commitment.

So, how can you evaluate your potential suitors? Here are three tips:

1. Avoid a ‘catfish’ scenario by ensuring your suppliers are who they say they are. It’s important that you know exactly who you are entering a relationship with. By including a business verification report as part of the tender process, you can verify the identity, authenticity and legitimacy of your proposed partners.

2. Make sure your partner has what it takes to go the distance. You’re making a serious commitment when you sign a new contract with a supplier so you want to remove any risk of a break up mid-contract. Running a credit report as part of the selection process can help you identify whether your supplier has adequate financial resources to hold up their promises to you.

3. Communicate, reflect and evaluate. It’s important that you continually review the health of your relationship. You can observe and keep track of your suppliers with commercial monitoring services, which highlight any changes you need know about their trading status, so you tackle any potential relationship issues upfront.

Entering into a new relationship is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Choosing your ‘perfect match’ is not just about compatibility and what they can offer, but also their ability and readiness to make a long-term commitment. By evaluating your most promising providers and conducting ongoing supplier intelligence, you will greatly increase your chances of relationship success. 

This year, illion TenderLink are celebrating our 25th anniversary of bringing suppliers and buyers together - the perfect match!

TenderLink is part of illion – the leading independent provider of trusted data and analytics in Australasia. We understand the challenges buyers face with keeping information up to date and mitigating or identifying changes in risk and the effect it has on the full supply chain.

We offer a range of supplier risk products, including business verification reports, credit risk information, and commercial monitoring services to help you identify supply chain risks before they happen. Find out more or ask your TenderLink account manager about integrating our risk solutions today.