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Reviewing Your Suppliers.
It makes good business sense to regularly review your suppliers and check that your club is enjoying the best possible service at the best possible price. Too frequently clubs continue to utilise a supplier who may have been the best choice 10 years ago but no longer offers their product or service at a competitive rate. So…
What is the best way to tackle a review?
Firstly, you should understand if there is an existing contract and when that expires.
Then it is best to meet with the supplier and advise that the club is undertaking a review. This is a good opportunity to discuss how both parties feel about the relationship and provide feedback. Ask the supplier if they believe there is any other product or service you should be considering and if they have any room for movement on pricing. If applicable ask them for information on industry trends. This is not about threatening to withdraw the clubs business, but rather providing clarity around the relationship and the direction your club is taking.
Identify an alternative
The next step is to identify alternative suppliers/vendors that you would like to provide a quote. Instead of just using the yellow pages or google, your best option is to investigate suppliers who are recommended by others. Ask club managers or business acquaintances who they would recommend.
Understand the value of the service you require and use your own club guidelines to determine if the service should be covered by a formal contract that includes a service level agreement.
When reviewing competitive quotes don’t get stuck on price, focus on quality of service. A supplier can have the lowest price and the lowest quality of work, too. The goal is understand what value is the supplier bringing to your club, therefore you need to review their quality, price, reputation, delivery and how they intend to manage your account.
When finally appointing a supplier/vendor, make sure they clearly understand your needs and expectations. Consider your supplier as part of your team and treat them as such. Communicate often and openly and avoid conflicts by paying on time or at least honestly addressing late payment issues and talking with your supplier about it. Making sure that this is a mutually beneficial partnership will impact both the price you are negotiating today and the quality of service you get in future
Finally review supplier performance at regular intervals to ensure the terms and levels of service are maintained.