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Many things have changed recently in the business world. Emerging global markets, technology and strategic partnerships are now critical to the overall success of a business. We have witnessed new global markets emerge in China and now India.   Technology has touched all businesses, including the recent explosion of social media. The ability to forge strategic partnerships has always been important, but in today’s business world, your relationship with the supplier is paramount and may be the most important change you embrace.

Customer expectations dictate a closer working relationship with our suppliers.  These expectations include continuous communication, flexible solutions, and value-added services. When assessing these changes, one thing comes to mind… my supplier is now my customer. What does this really mean and how will it impact my business?

Supplier relationships have permanently changed and we must accept that. The supplier relationship is no longer just a traditional component to conducting business, but rather a difference maker in the overall health of your business. The companies that recognize this change and plan accordingly will be in a stronger position to meet customer expectations and develop deeper “win-win” strategic partnerships with their suppliers. The ability to demonstrate a strong, productive working relationship with suppliers will be a differentiating factor in your customer’s eyes. And that may be the difference in keeping or winning the deal with a customer.

So what does this all mean?  It is fairly simple; treat your supplier as you would your customer, because they are equally important to your success.