Aug 05/20

How to Improve Technical Communication With Suppliers and Vendors

technical communication

The world of logistics is slowly changing, and one such welcome trend is that companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of improving communication with their suppliers. In fact, 60% of companies consider communication one of their top five supply chain priorities.

When you consider how imperative it is for streamlining the supply chain, this is hardly surprising. Failure to connect and build relationships with suppliers puts your company at a higher risk of experiencing shortages, receiving incorrect parts, and missing your overarching business targets.

So, in this post, we’ll discuss how to improve technical communication with suppliers and vendors to help build a productive working relationship with them.

Let’s dive in!

Set Clear Expectations

Manufacturers have their own systems for reporting, order management, and overseeing supplier performance. Consistency is key to keeping this manageable.

So, when you start a new relationship with a supplier, establish a clear plan for communication from the get-go – including the data, you need to obtain from them.

Provide a consistent platform where suppliers can meet those requirements. It should be easy to update, track, and edit order statuses and communicate about individual parts.

Establish Data Metrics

Set standards for data tracking. Many companies do so with supplier scorecards. Typically, manufacturers create and share these with their suppliers to monitor their performance. Scorecards work best when you have clear metrics to compare them against.

Metrics could include:

  • On-time delivery performance
  • Cost performance
  • Quality performance

These are just a few suggestions – but you get the idea.

Know Your Parts For Technical Communication

To enable efficiency on the supplier’s part, preparedness on your side is necessary as well. This means knowing what questions you’ll ask before you start a phone call or attend a meeting. Have the PO number at the ready, the part type, and the minimum order quantity.

When you know in advance what you’re discussing and have the relevant information to hand, the risk of talking about two different parts is minimized. This can quickly happen when thousands of part numbers are handled every day!

Implement Real-Time Chat Options

The efficiency of communication is highly dependant on the channel. Interestingly, 90% of small and medium-sized UK manufacturers still rely on emails, faxes, and phone calls to communicate with their clients. But supplier performance could be improved with real-time web chat.

This enables participants to provide real-time updates on logistical information, share project data, monitor progress, etc., with ease.

Creating a collaborative hub where you can communicate with all members of the supply chain dramatically improves agility, as critical information can be passed onto the right people faster.

Improve Technical Communication to Streamline the Supply Chain

Optimize your supply chain by enhancing your technical communication skills. The key is to prepare thoroughly before turning to your supplier and clarifying the exact requirements and means of communication early on.

Do you have any questions about what you’ve just read? If so, contact us today; we’re always happy to help!