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IMPROVING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN WHOLESALERS AND RETAILERS

Companies that are part of the supply chain such as manufacturers and wholesalers can often benefit enormously by conducting their own b2b customer satisfaction survey.

Improving the relationship between wholesalers and their suppliers and also between wholesalers and retailers brings potential benefits that will help improve the product in terms of:

  • Quality, range and design
  • Delivery method, speed
  • Communication, method and level of service
  • Payment, quality of documentation and settlement time
  • Prices, wholesale and retail price

A manufacturer can improve the relationship that they have with their wholesalers to the extent that the wholesalers would need to think long and hard before they switched to a rival supplier. For example by improving the communication and being proactive in automating much of the paperwork a manufacturer can add value to the entire product range and that may be just enough to encourage a wholesaler to invest time in resolving any potential problem as opposed to making it easy for them to dictate terms by threatening to switch to a rival supplier. Adding value to a business relationship a product will cease to become just a commodity item that can be supplied by any Tom, Dick and Harry.

If they only focus on price and do not adequately value the many benefits of working with a professional and well organised supplier wholesalers may be doing themselves a disservice by not properly valuing a supplier that delivers on time products that are of the right quality accompanied with invoice and shipping documentation that is clear and accurate.

By conducting customer satisfaction surveys aimed not at the end user but at those involved in the supply chain there are many rewards to be had. By understanding and taking into consideration the requirements of both parties the business processes between any two organizations can nearly always be vastly improved and all parties benefit by keeping costs to a minimum.

It is in the interest of manufacturers to establish long term contracts as that will provide them with the security that is necessary for them to plan and reinvest, confident that their customers value the benefits that long term relationships can bring. If a wholesaler can minimize the need to carry large stocks of items, but be supplied using a just in time model, they can reduce their overhead costs, free up valuable real estate and minimize the risk of over ordering.

The starting point for such an exercise is an exchange of information that can be obtained easily by utilising online customer satisfaction survey software that is now widely available and that makes the whole intelligence gathering process quick, easy and cost effective.

This article brought to you by the leading publisher of trade magazines for wholesale merchandise, Retailers Forum Magazine.