Best Practices in Managing Trading Partners – How to Best Work with Suppliers, Producers, Etc.

General contractors require a vast network of subcontractors and suppliers to deliver projects on time and within budget. Since general contractors are held accountable for all project operations, they are under a lot of risk from supply chain interruptions, safety violations, work quality, delays, cost overruns, and more. It is important to choose the right partners to do business with and manage them easily to ensure projects go off without a hitch.

Choosing Partners

How should you choose suppliers to partner with to work on projects together? Look at their experience to see how long they have been in business. If they haven’t been in business long, you should ask for references. Did they do a quality job for the reference? Were they on time, in budget, and work well with others? Look at their expertise, siting examples of the work they have done previously. Make sure suppliers have the right licenses, insurance, and credit as well.

Once you choose the suppliers to do business with, you need to help maintain a good relationship with them. Talk to them regularly, pay them on time, and build trust with them. Establish expectations, set metrics, and measure key performance indicators. 

Managing Partners

Contractors need collaborative technologies to collaborate, communicate, and manage their relationship with their suppliers. A collaborative platform that allows all stakeholders in the construction supply chain can remove silos so that all businesses can share business processes and information. The more companies that connect to the network, the more information that is generated, the more value that stakeholders will receive.

Trading partners need to see the benefits of connecting to a collaborative network, such as visibility from end-to-end, better project planning and coordination, information sharing, higher profitability, and improved client satisfaction. Open communications that can be shared across the network with all stakeholders can include performance measurements so suppliers and producers can see who is meeting business goals. This empowers managers to improve performance by filling gaps in the supply base that don’t meet the baseline. Supplier performance is a leading indicator for supply risk and supplier performance data can provide risk assessment managers with early warning signs and provide time to take action.

Command Alkon’s CONNEX connects contractors, project owners, and jobsite inspectors with their heavy building material suppliers and haulers to accomplish more together than they would on their own. Supporting shared goals, the platform ensures stakeholders are all working with the same trustworthy information to remove inefficiencies.

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