Outsourcing production means companies often have multiple suppliers. Juggling suppliers from abroad can be challenging especially if there is a language barrier. A long-term healthy relationship between suppliers and companies provides a better customer service experience, reduces costs, and streamlines the supply chain.


1. Clearly state goals and expectations

Suppliers will be unable to effectively fulfill your demands if they do not know what you are trying to achieve. Before selecting a new supplier, make sure you clearly communicate your goals and what you expect the supplier to provide. Make sure your expectations are aligned with those of your suppliers so they understand your vision for the organization. 


2. Clear communication

The foundation of any strong relationship is clear communication. It takes time, but establishing a two-way communication method makes life easier for all parties.

If you’re outsourcing to a different country, you should have regular meetings at a suitable time for all parties across time zones to manage the progress. Language barriers  and a lack of transparency during discussions can be challenging and cause miscommunications. In this case, make sure you have a third party to help you translate correspondence and keep track of the progress.


3. Provide timelines and deadlines

Working with multiple suppliers on the same project ensures that everyone works toward the same goal. Having strict deadlines and timelines can support your suppliers to achieve the goals you set for them. The critical first step is to create a shared schedule with all suppliers for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Next, make sure everyone follows and updates the process of orders to ensure all parties are informed. 


4. Focus on solutions, not problems

It is easy to slip into blaming others when things go wrong. When trying to manage multiple suppliers, be sure to focus on solutions instead of problems. Work together to resolve issues instead of becoming stuck trying to work out who caused what. If there are any arising issues or conflicts, it may be helpful to prepare questions and share your concerns during meetings with suppliers so that they can understand your objectives.

It can be difficult to manage multiple suppliers in different time zones. Be sure to communicate well and offer practical solutions to any problems that arise. Remember that it is always possible to switch suppliers if a relationship is not working.


Let Lone Star help you manage your suppliers

Lone Star is here to support and manage multiple suppliers on your behalf. If things don’t work out with a particular supplier, we can also help you find new ones. We have a professional and experienced team to seek out the best opportunities and cost-saving options for your projects. As an extension of your team, we take over communication, supply chain issues, outsourcing,  shipping, and everything in between. Contact us today to learn how Lone Star can help you on your manufacturing journey.

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Sources: 5 Tips to Effectively Manage Multiple Suppliers