Advantages of Local Partnerships for Suppliers and Customers
Forming local partnerships is more important today than ever before for manufacturers. As businesses look overseas to answer market demands, the advantages to staying local are becoming clearer. Sirois Tool works to build and maintain local, regional and in some cases, national partnerships with both our vendors and customers.
There are many mutual benefits to cultivating long-term partnerships with local businesses rather than low-cost, distant countries. The joint effort in a customer-supplier partnership is a two-way commitment to continuous improvement and increasing value. This exchange is much easier to nurture when the relationship involves on-site contact, can develop during normal business hours, and doesn’t require extensive travel.
Lifeline of Communication
Communication is a key element to successful collaboration. Going local with your partnerships makes establishing open and cohesive communication much simpler. When you’re within the same state, region, or even country as your supplier or customer, it’s easier and more straightforward to set up meetings, communicate face to face, and develop the personal relationships that are necessary for a fruitful partnership.
Successful customer-supplier partnerships take more than an exchange of information. Resolving any issues that might develop, evaluating each other’s performance, and continually aligning your priorities and expectations is a constant process. When there’s a strong and established structure of communication, the customer is able to reach out and receive immediate support. This is far more complicated with a partner who is overseas or a language barrier makes having conversations difficult to impossible.
Maintain Consistent High Quality
Tooling manufacturers must deliver consistent and reliable quality for high-tolerance, critical parts. This requires working closely with customers to get the expected results. Tooling experts who can be on-site, or who are within a manageable travelling distance, help ensure that your parts get the required adjustments on any standard or custom parts order. No quality issue is too small or too difficult to fix with regional suppliers who are readily available, unlike long-distance haggling with far-off customers after receipt of purchase order.
Providing in-house design and build capabilities helps optimize quality in the manufacturing process. Local toolmakers are able to bring creative design ideas right to the table, coming onto the shop floor and helping customers with potential improvements.
Staying local in a supplier-customer partnership provides customers with fast turnaround when lead times and on-time delivery is important to maintaining the competitive advantage. Today’s on-time delivery demands must meet ever-increasing speeds, giving local partnerships the built-in advantage of closer proximity.
Besides being a market game changer, reducing lead-times save time and money. The pricing for long-distance partnerships involves the hidden costs of shipping and personnel travel expense, adding to the additional resources needed to work with overseas customers or suppliers.
The successful local partnership involves leadership support. Sirois Tool understands that true collaboration means giving its very best from the top down. Setting the tone for collaboration with suppliers and customers is a company-wide strategy where the partnership is treated like an extension of your own business. Sharing the risks as well as the rewards will lead to achieving common goals that benefit both partners.