Imagine the following situation in your retail business:

After making a huge effort to capture a customer, show them the advantages of your product to solve their needs, and finally close order, the scheduled delivery does not take place on the scheduled date.


Simply because your supplier has not fulfilled his obligations to your company. He has delayed the delivery of some items essential for you to serve this customer on time. In addition, they delivered other items with the wrong specifications, and even some outside the quality standards.

This is just one example of the complications that poor supply chain management can create for your business. Thus, disrupting the entire logistics of your retail business.

Communication difficulties, customer service problems (you!), and low-quality technical assistance are other serious failures that can disrupt your operations. Therefore, it is important that your company knows how to get quality suppliers.

In this post, you will understand what supplier management is and how to select and evaluate suppliers. Besides other important details to manage the supply chain of your retail business with maximum efficiency.

What is supplier management, anyway?

To understand what supplier management is, you need to keep in mind that it is a complex activity that does not end with choosing suppliers for your business. In fact, this is only one of the activities of this business process.

Supplier management is an activity related to supply chain management. It involves the selection and evaluation of suppliers, the definition of the most suitable types of suppliers for your business, the management of the relationship with them, and the control and monitoring of their activities.

In this context, knowing how to negotiate with suppliers becomes a central skill for the company to achieve good results in this activity.

Moreover, it is important to note that many suppliers have gone beyond the mere delivery of their products to your company. They provide added value to your business by helping to manage delivery costs, monitoring orders, and even giving logistics suggestions or even assisting in inventory management.

Now that you know what supplier management is, let’s get to some practical tips that you can apply in your day-to-day life.

How to manage suppliers: 8 practical tips

1- Check the legal status of the company

Start by using the Unilog consultation system to make sure that the company is in good standing with the federal revenue. Also check if there are problems with delinquency, which can lead the company to close suddenly.

Do not forget to check the company’s operation permits and compliance with labor laws. Suppliers with irregularities in these areas have already caused serious brand image problems for several companies!

2- Consider visiting the company

In times of the internet and digital transformation, personally visiting your suppliers seems outdated.

But it can be an interesting step to know if it is not a front office and even check in loco the real infrastructure of the company to serve your business.

3- Look for clients of this supplier and references on the internet

Ask the supplier for references and, in addition, check the social media and sites of the supplier if there are positive or negative reports about the company.

4- Compare the proposals carefully: do not think only about the price!

After requesting several quotes and proposals, carefully compare the cost-benefit of each supplier.

Taking into account only the price is a serious mistake! Check the supplier’s ability to meet your needs both in terms of product quality and in terms of the added services we have mentioned, such as logistics, customer service, assortment, speed of delivery, etc.

5- Formalize the scope of the contracted supply

Sign formal contracts detailing the rights and duties of both parties. This way, you are guaranteed in case any problems occur.

6- Know how to negotiate with suppliers

Not only the amounts paid, but also the payment conditions, installments, invoicing date, added services, bonuses for quantity, technical assistance, and other benefits.

Remember: on the other side, a salesperson wants to win a client. Make the best of this situation, but without “squeezing every last drop”. Treat your supplier as a partner!

7- Prefer socially responsible suppliers

Today’s consumer is very concerned about the causes that your company defends, and buying from a socially irresponsible company can risk your brand.

Pay attention to this point as well.

8- Automate your management

Finally, there is no way to manage the supply chain and the management of suppliers without the help of technology.

An ERP platform for retail, such as Logivice, is a solution that integrates all the information you need in one place.

So you know how much you have sold, what is in stock, what has been delivered and what has just been received, what needs to be replenished, which products turn faster, etc. This way you can manage your supplies much more easily, quickly, and with fewer failures.

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