New store buying and selling necessities, provider compliance with out the trouble
One of the difficulties many retailers face when making changes to their business is how they secure supplier participation in their new programs, whether it’s new data requirements, new policies or even working with new EDI versions.
For more than a decade, EDI has worked with retailers who wish to use our retail network to power their trading relationships and collaborate with their suppliers. When retailers want to change their trading practices, there are a few things we usually recommend.
1. Clearly articulate the change and its impact.
First, retailers should clearly articulate the change, why it’s happening and how it’s going to impact the business relationship. This means the retailers should state how the change can also benefit the supplier — we’re going to sell more, you’re going to get paid faster, etc.
2. Communicate frequently.
Use different communication methods on a regular basis. Whether it’s an email notification directly to suppliers, hosting a webinar or podcast, posting a message on a retailer’s discussion forum, or even notifying a support organization, retailers need to be clear about what their asking and communicate frequently both internally and to their suppliers. (It also helps if you post with several methods, not just one.)
Additionally, communicate the changes more than once — sending a single notification out 48 hours before the change occurs is not effective. Giving advance notice and then sending regular reminders leading up to the change can make a big difference and secure supplier participation.
3. Message should be comprehensive.
It’s crucial that the messages you send are consistent. Repeat your message with complete information, rather than referring back to previous ones. A single, “Don’t forget the changeover deadline coming up in September,” doesn’t mean anything to people seeing that message for the first time.
Include any pertinent information each time you post reminders about the new changes. It’s especially important if you’re sending the messages over a few weeks or months. Don’t forget to include reasons why these changes matter to the relationship.
We have additional suggestions for increasing supplier participation in new programs. Contact us today to speak with our experts.