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Maintaining a strong customer-supplier relationship is critical to your company’s success.

What is a customer-supplier relationship?

A customer-supplier relationship is the custom and experience between the customer and the supplier which includes the product quality, services, how complaints are handled, logistics, etc. The customer and the supplier both have the same business goal to satisfy their end consumer, which is why a strong customer-supplier relationship is the backbone of any business.

How to build a good relationship with a supplier.

A customer-supplier relationship is a two-way connection. To strengthen the relationship, the supplier needs to be loyal to the customer, and the customer also needs to be loyal back to the supplier in return. Suppliers are just as important as your customers and should be treated the same when working on building a strong and long-lasting relationship with both customers and suppliers. It’s a win-win for both parties, you can save money and streamline your project while the supplier can use the relationship to improve the quality of the products or services offered.

The customer-supplier relationship starts with the supplier. The supplier needs to demonstrate to the customer that they’re sensitive to the customer’s needs. Top suppliers are always prioritising business with customers who value their partnership and who are willing to work together to maintain a strong relationship that is smooth and efficient. When you have a partnership like this between a supplier and their customer, it usually leads to the supplier offering their best terms up front and giving you peace of mind that the customer gets the most out of dealing with them.

It’s important to avoid complacency with your supplier relationships and be always looking for ways to improve and strengthen the relationship, streamline processes, and improve the product and/or services offered.

Communication is another key factor in maintaining strong supplier relationships. As a customer, you can help enhance your relationship with your suppliers and make them want to do business with you by keeping these points in mind.

  • Trust and loyalty.
  • Adhere to payment terms.
  • Develop communication plans.
  • Differentiate between price and value.

 

Once you have established a solid foundation and your relationship with your suppliers is strong, you are ready to talk about cost optimisation with your supplier. Here are some talking points to help reduce costs for you but keep building the supplier relationship.

  • Contract length.
  • Reduced future cost increases with fixed rates or caps.
  • Better discounts or incentive tiers.
  • Volume thresholds.
  • Delivery arrangements.
  • Payment terms.

 

The most successful way to enter negotiations like this is to be prepared for a discussion around these types of cost savings. If your main goal is to just screw down the price, chances are your supplier will not be overly accommodating. If you listen, collaborate, compromise, and develop a partnership that will be a win-win for both parties.

What will affect the customer-supplier relationship?

  • Satisfaction.
    The customer expects attention and convenience from all departments to ensure the smooth fulfillment of their needs, including quality, timeliness, ease of access, and commitment to conditions.
  • Competitiveness.
    Customers chose a supplier based on the pricing and quality of their products, reliability, flexibility of the company, and industry trends and these factors may affect the deal.
  • Innovation.
    The customer knows and lives the product more than the supplier does because they’re working with it every day and are able to suggest innovation and development for the products or services.

Tips on dealing with your suppliers.

  • Meet your suppliers to see how their business operates. Understanding how your supplier operates gives you a better sense of how they will add value to your business..
  • Meet the people who you’ll be dealing with directly for production etc. Make sure they are easily contactable and get their direct contact details.
  • Help your suppliers by putting your orders through in good time and being clear about your deadlines and paying on time.
  • Look out for any opportunities you can pass their way and in a good customer-supplier relationship, they’ll do the same in return.
  • Make your business important to your suppliers and they’ll work harder for you.

How to be a valued customer of your suppliers.

  • Pay on time.
    The customer should always negotiate favorable payment terms at the time of the contract, but once the contract is signed and confirmed the commitment should be honored.
  • Provide adequate flexibility.
    Customers should give the suppliers as much flexibility as possible for them unless there is a valid reason not to. Unreasonable demands should be avoided.
  • Personalise the relationship.
    The customer should always be in contact with the supplier and meet them frequently, not necessarily waiting until there is a problem.
  • Share information.
    The customer should be communicating and keeping the suppliers aware of what is going on in their organisation, and important industry updates.
  • Be a demanding, but valued customer.
    Customers should state their needs clearly and tell the supplier to hold the agreements. At the same time, as a valued customer they must also hold the commitments agreed upon. By sharing knowledge, service benefits, media exposure opportunities, software compatibility, and efficiencies you will enhance the relationship further.

How FTI Group fits in with all this.

 

FTI Group is a customer-focused organisation where every customer has a clear dedicated contact throughout every stage of the journey. The FTI Team is proactive in their service and communication with the customer, to make sure the project is kept on schedule for the customer.

With large stock holdings and a large production capacity, FTI can offer fixed rates for Fast Tread® concrete stairs and BlueDeck Composite™ metal decking formwork to allow customers reliability, stability, and certainty with pricing for their projects. The FTI pricing model is also set to be most favourable for larger project volumes and for ordering stairs, decking and formply together as a package deal.

FTI Group has its own logistics team which ensures we have some of the fastest lead times in the industry, and the most flexible delivery schedules for your construction program. The FTI logistics team offers multiple delivery methods including b-doubles, semi-trailers, and rigid or crane truck deliveries to suit the individual customer needs.

The FTI team is reliable with excellent customer service and a range of formwork products, positioning FTI Group as a one-stop shop for formwork. For your peace of mind, you can lock in your decking rates now and be protected from future price rises.

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You can trust Fast Tread®
to be compliant with:

• AS/NZS1657:2018
for fixed platforms, walkways, stairways, and ladders
• AS/NZS1428.1:2009
for design for access and mobility
• AS/NZS1170.1:2002
for structural design actions
• AS/NZS3990:1993
for mechanical equipment
• AS/NZS4100:1998
for steel structures
• AS/NZS4991:2004
for lifting devices
• AS/NZS1554.1:2011
for structural steel welding
• AS/NZS4761:2001
for steel reinforcing materials

Compliance assured for your peace of mind. For more information, contact our design team.