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Putting the customer first is a business adage that was widely exalted by Ray Krock, the American businessman who transformed McDonald’s into the world’s most dominant fast food retail chain. While many company owners follow this principle, quite a few tend to forget about what it means to be a smart consumer themselves. When you look at customer-centric companies such as Amazon, you can be sure that these enterprises have leveraged their B2B connections and supply chain solutions to maximum advantage.
Smart consumers make the most out of their retail activity for the purpose of improving their households and personal lifestyle; likewise, your company can adopt a smart consumer mentality to gain a competitive edge. Here are four recommendations in this regard:
If you want to balance the cost and quality of the products you distribute, you may want to look into fabrication instead of constantly trying to negotiate lower prices from suppliers. A building contractor who specializes in steel pipe installation, for example, should evaluate the benefits of dealing directly with a steel pipe fabricator; by doing so, the company can be always be assured about pricing and quality.
Smart consumers do not wait around for special offers; they know that companies are vying for their business, and thus they seek to take advantage of the competitive climate. If you keep an eye on your suppliers and providers of B2B services, you will be able to determine when they are more likely to give you discounts and better credit terms. The idea is to watch how your B2B partners operate so that you can approach them at the right time; the ultimate goal is to make them compete for your business.
When you purchase supplies or materials at the very last minute or in a hurry, you are bound to end up paying more than expected. This can also happen if you do not give yourself a comfortable time frame for delivery.
To get the best from B2B connections, you should strive to become their favorite customer. If you operate a restaurant, for example, you may want to invite your linens provider to lunch or dinner a couple of times each year.
Depending on your industry, your suppliers may go through certain periods of slow sales; for example, toy manufacturers and distributors know that their specific sector tends to slow down considerably after the holiday shopping season, thus creating a good buying opportunity for retailers whose stock was depleted in December.
In the end, your B2B partners may hold the key to the success of your business; to this effect, you should adopt a smart consumer philosophy when dealing with them.