Strong supplier relationships are essential to the efficiency and reputation of your property management business. If your suppliers’ services aren’t aligned to the relevant industry standards, it’s your business that will have to face the legal repercussions. Suppliers are a reflection of your company, so it’s imperative to foster relationships you can depend on. To make this easier, we've put together our 6 top tips for property managers to improve their supplier relationship management.
1. Check Property Suppliers’ Accreditations
One of the best ways to ensure you receive a high-quality and compliant service from your suppliers is to check their certifications prior to onboarding. To reduce your business’s risk of liability, make sure vendors have all the necessary health and safety documentation and insurance policies in place. Not only will this certify that they’re capable of working carefully and accurately, it’ll also keep you protected in the event of a safety issue. By checking all relevant documents, you’ll have complete peace of mind knowing you’re establishing a reliable supplier relationship.
It’s a good idea to look out for International Organisation for Standardisation (IOS) accreditations among suppliers. An ISO 9000 is one of the best known and most widely respected certificates for quality management and can be held by any type of supplier, from maintenance suppliers to financial advisors. Its purpose is to make sure services are delivered to an excellent standard and consistently meet customer requirements. By onboarding an ISO 9000 accredited vendor, your project has a higher chance of being delivered accurately and on time.
There are also sector-specific ISO accreditations that could benefit your projects, so keep an eye out for others when considering suppliers. An ISO 50001, for example, is an Energy Management certification that ensures suppliers are using energy effectively. Not only does this help protect the environment, it can also help your business save money by keeping project costs low.
2. Use technology to simplify supplier relationship management
Thanks to the rise of PropTech, property managers can make strenuous tasks simpler than ever before. Its purpose is to lessen workloads and empower its users, so don’t be afraid to implement technology into your supplier management process. A customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example, can house all of your supplier responsibilities under one roof, giving you a complete, transparent overview of your supplier catalogue including invoices, quote requests and communications history.
Cloud-based platforms can also make supplier management easier. Using Credensa to centralise your suppliers’ records and documentation will significantly reduce your time and administrative costs, making the task smoother and more accurate by negating the need for emails and paper trails. A streamlined supplier management platform will also mean no more scrambling around during audits to find the correct, up-to-date information you need.
3. Make sure suppliers meet your property business’s specific needs
Before any project, it’s important to make suppliers aware of your business’s requirements and priorities. Discuss everything you expect to see from the project and find out what the suppliers can do to meet these expectations. The more suppliers know about your budget, timeframe, regulations and objectives, the more they’ll be able to adhere to them. So, be clear and thorough when explaining your project.
A common mistake made in supplier relationship management is to choose suppliers based solely on price. Keeping costs low may be important, but it shouldn’t sacrifice the quality, speed and reliability of the service. Instead of focusing entirely on fees, seek out suppliers who have a reputation for proficiency. Listening to recommendations, reading online reviews, or using a cloud-based supplier accreditation platform like Credensa are all useful ways of finding reputable, recommended suppliers.
4. Make an effort to build respectful supplier relationships
Being kind and respectful towards your suppliers should go without saying. But going the extra mile to treat them well can have a significant impact on the services you receive. Regularly communicate with your suppliers, provide adequate completion timeframes where possible, and most importantly, always pay promptly. The better your relationship with the supplier, the more helpful and committed they’ll be to your project.
Being open and honest will not only help you build a stable, trusted relationship with your suppliers, it’ll also ensure you receive flawless services that meet your expectations.
5. Devise a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
SLAs are contractual obligations that define the service and level of service that the supplier must provide. They set out all the responsibilities expected from the project, defining aspects such as the delivery timetable, compliance provisions, payment terms, monitoring mechanisms and dispute resolutions. Not only can SLAs drive efficiency by clarifying your business’s requirements, they also make high-quality service mandatory, as suppliers will be required to pay compensation if the obligations are not met.
6. Use a property supplier onboarding platform
To achieve a good working relationship with your supplier, you’ve got to trust their business completely. Sourcing suppliers from an onboarding platform like Credensa can help you feel assured from the beginning. The platform allows you to see suppliers’ crowd-sourced accreditations and policies before you initiate a connection, so you’ll start the relationship knowing that they’re qualified and fully capable of providing the service you need.
What’s more, Credensa’s streamlined onboarding and accreditation process means you’ll spend less time finding, verifying and maintaining suppliers, and more time focusing on the service at hand.
To find out more about how Credensa can help your business, register your interest here.