Dealing with Suppliers: Creating a Supplier Instructions Document
Are you tired of having your supplier promise one thing but deliver the wrong material needed?
Maybe a little additional documentation is needed.
Read on to find out more.
- Dealing with Suppliers
- The Offset Printing Business
- Creating a Supplier Instructions Document
- Write about your business and earn money.
Dealing with Suppliers
Unless you are a manufacturer, you have a horde of suppliers that your business depend on.
Some of the best suppliers allow you to painlessly order your item, sit back and relax, get the right item delivered on your doorstep and pay after 30 days.
Some of the worst will have you tearing at the roots of your hair because:
a) the sales person you first talked to did not place the order
b) the sales person ordered the wrong item for you
c) there was a problem with your order and you weren't informed
d) the item will be delivered late because of one thing or another
e) the item can't be delivered and you have to pick it up
f) you drive to their far flung warehouse to pick up the item but they are closed early, on a long lunch break or having their Christmas party in August
e) you finally get your package and you open it only to find out it is NOT the right item
f) you still have to pay upfront before a replacement can be ordered
If you can summarily remove those suppliers from your list, do so for the sake of your heart, if not and they are the only ones who supply that item in the price that you want, then you simply have to protect yourself from their foolish business practices.
The Offset Printing Business
In the offset printing business, you have pre-press and post-press suppliers to manage.
For pre-press, you have color separation which is either outputted to film or direct to plate and of course you have the paper and chemicals suppliers.
For post-press you have the finishing stage to worry about. Which comes in a range of different suppliers depending on the material your client has ordered. There are bookbinders, notebook wire binders, folding, stapling and what not to handle and look over.
One undocumented instruction and they can get away with an item that is made not to your specifications.
Because I am primarily in this business I have learned to make sure that all our suppliers are in the same picture as I am for each project that I give them. This has prevented me from getting the shock of a lifetime every time I receive a delivery from them.
Creating a Supplier Instructions Document
Write this in your company's letterhead so all instructions are official and not just from your Purchasing Officer to your supplier's Sales Person. It is a document that includes both companies in communication.
SUPPLIER INSTRUCTIONS 01
DATE: It’s important to date your instructions so that when your supplier makes a mistake, you can always trace when it was committed.
ATTENTION: NAME OF SUPPLIER’S SALES PERSON OR OWNER
SUPPLIER’S COMPANY NAME
PROJECT: Create a name for your project so that you and your supplier refer to it as the same thing. This is important when you refer to your project in the next email or phone call.
ORDER DETAILS: Write in detail everything that you expect your item to be. You can never over explain and don’t ever think that anything is already implied or is common knowledge. Make your order foolproof.
EXPECTED NEXT STEPS FOR SUPPLIER: Kick your supplier into action with this line. Let them know what you need from them next so that they start working on it ASAP.
TERMS: When you can get away with it, you can put 30 days here. Otherwise always expect to pay upfront or event with a 50% downpayment.
DELIVERY: Always, always, always give a deadline to your supplier. Otherwise, prepare excuses for your customer.
We look forward to a hassle-free and smooth transaction with you as our supplier.
NAME OF PURCHASING OFFICER
You can issue as many Supplier Instruction Document as needed. Especially is your business is the type that has to ask for revisions from your suppliers. Make sure you note every change that you want done. Don't copy paste the document on your email message block, attach the file (it should be in your letterhead) and let them read it so that they know that you are taking this in detail and in a very official manner and so should they.
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