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president's letter
Supplier partnerships
Sam Bruce
NTCA President
There is great satisfaction when a project is finished and your customer is overjoyed with the result. The finished product is usually the outcome of many hours spent preparing and acquiring all of the selected products and the right materials for the installation. To successfully manage these aspects of your business we all need reliable supplier partnerships. Good partners will help you deliver quality service to your clients and success in your business. Suppliers are your most important partners in terms of to providing a quality service and product to your customers. There are many suppliers available to us all in our different markets, which gives us options to choose who to best align ourselves with. If you are promising reliability and timely deadlines to your customers, then your suppliers will need to support you in the same way by delivering products on time and having what you need in stock. When suppliers cannot meet these needs, it has a big affect on your ability to serve your customers and meet their deadlines. Suppliers who offer value in the form of product and technical support will also allow you to deliver quality installations to your customers. There are many suppliers who offer product and technical support for the products they carry that will help you to install these products correctly. Good suppliers should also give you the right product recommendations for your installation, or put you in touch with the product representatives that can. Choosing a supplier partner with the right payment terms is highly important for the way your business operates. Depending on the types of projects you are working on, you may not be paid for your work for 30 days or more. Aligning yourself with suppliers who can offer you terms that match when you receive payments will help your cash flow and keep you from funding these projects. Earning terms like this from a supplier takes financial discipline and commitment to your suppliers. When you have shown a history of making your payments on time and dedication to doing most of your business with a few specific suppliers, you can earn terms that help you with your business. Talk to your suppliers about this, find out what it takes to get the terms that you need, or find the supplier that will meet your needs. Aligning yourself with the right supplier partners is a big key to a successful business. Building a good relationship with a supplier who can meet your needs takes a conscious effort on your part and does not happen overnight. Grow these relationships and make sure that the partnership is bilateral. Good relationships are not one sided; they are meant to bring business success to both suppliers and tile contractors. Best to your success, Sam Bruce President, NTCA