Vendor or Business Partner?

So what’s it with words and the finer nuances they proclaim? Try these…

  • I need my order at the earliest! ~ vs. ~ When is the earliest you can supply my order?
  • This pricing is not proper ~ vs. ~ We are looking at a better pricing
  • We cannot pay you earlier than 30 days ~ vs. ~ We will be pleased to make payment at the end of 30 days.
  • I will reject the order supplied if it does not meet our specification ~ vs. ~ Do ensure that the order supplied meets with our agreed specifications, so as to avoid returns.
  • Your proposal was unacceptable ~ vs. ~ Regrettably, we were unable to select your proposal

It’s a no-brainer that the statements on the right are the more polite ones and many of us would like to say that we are active proponents of such communication. For those who have been on both sides of the supply chain, the learnings come quicker.

Some organisations believe in calling their Vendors as their Business Partners, but in reality how often do we really consider our suppliers as one of our valuable resources?

Most hotels in Goa contract serenaders, one man bands, duos etc. and this has always been a flourishing business for musicians particularly in this state. During my tenure at Goa’s finest and leading luxury resort, I would audition them myself, plan their performances to match the weekly events and finalise their contracts after negotiating the best rates amongst five star hotels in Goa. Having done so, I would now ensure their comfort in ensuring they had their meals at the coffee shop buffet in comfort after the performance; their roadies were looked after in the staff cafeteria; their payments were made promptly by the 15th of every month as promised in the contract; their issues, if any were brought to my notice and I would attend to them personally. I would also check on their performances many of an evening and even give them feedback on the same. All this startled them as they never had this kind of personalised treatment at the other hotels.

The result? Every six months at the signing of the new contracts, my Musician & Jewish blood would ensure the change in rates be maintained within levels suited to my profitability parameters. The beauty of this was that these musicians & performers (and there were 5 sets of these) never wanted to leave my hotel as they knew that they were appreciated by the management!

Now think back to those Business Partners (Vendors) who stayed with you even when you move to a smaller organisation. You will probably find that the reason they did so was the respect you showed them in your dealings with them earlier. The Ritz Carlton motto – “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” which we all heartily agree to may now be applied in this context also… what say?

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