There probably isn’t a business on earth that doesn’t need to maintain a B2B relationship with other businesses within their industry. When it comes to apparel, that relationship could be between textile manufacturers and designers or perhaps the business between clothing manufacturers and distributors. No matter what end of the apparel marketplace your business falls, there are key considerations you should be cognizant of in order to maintain an ongoing relationship. Here are 4 things to consider.
1. Open Channels of Communication
It is quite difficult to maintain any relationship if there are broken channels of communication. While this can be problematic in any industry, it can be fatal within the apparel marketplace. Not only will cost and quality affect the relationship, but understanding what is expected on both sides of the coin can be a key issue. It is vital to maintain an ongoing dialog so that there is never a breakdown in the supply chain.
2. Proof of Good Standing
Another key issue in B2B relationships occurs when working with a new supplier, investor or distributor. Every relationship is built on trust but when the relationship is new, there is no time for trust to have been established. A supplier, lender or distributor may ask for proof of your Certificate of Good Standing. These show that you are who you say you are and are licensed and registered to do business. A Certificate of Good Standing may be required by new businesses you intend to deal with, so it really is in your best interest to have one on file.
3. History of Solid Transactions
Another point which bears consideration is being able to show a history of solid transactions. From a buyer’s perspective, it may mean showing that you pay timely and as agreed. From a seller’s perspective, new business relationships may want to see that you’ve kept to your agreed upon time constraints and sales prices. When canvasing for new B2B partnerships, this may be something you are required to authenticate.
4. Market Recognition
Have you ever noticed how some designers mention the textiles used in their creations? Some will simply mention the composition of the fabric such as 100% lamb’s wool or silk produced in China or India, the world’s leaders in silk production. Some will name leading fabric designers trending at any given moment, which goes a very long way in a B2B relationship.
Again, it is important to maintain a good working B2B relationship if you want to continue an uninterrupted supply or distribution chain. Sometimes it’s those leads you are after and other times it’s having the ability to help each other grow within your industry. From canvasing for new partnerships to building a strong bond with peers, these relationships can make or break your business, and in the world of apparel, this is of vital importance. No matter why you are developing a Business to Business relationship, these are the 4 key considerations to keep that relationship alive and healthy.