Your supply chain is one of your most important assets (next to your employees that is) and should be appreciated anyway you can show it. As we head into the Christmas season there’s no better time than to lift the spirits of those who really help run your business (apart from your employees that is).
- Anything personalized is a great way to earn repeat business and simply make your supply chain feel connected to your business. An old-fashioned, hand-written thank you note, or even Christmas card is a great way to show you appreciate their business. No one would expect you to remember, or even know the names of all of your consumers or supply chain businesses, but if there is a way that you can pick out a few to make a difference it can really help cement that relationship. The word of mouth response from that action is great too.
- Take that one step further with Christmas presents from one business to another. Giving out presents to customers is likely not feasible for most, however, businesses in your supply chain would be happy to receive something as simple as a box of chocolate to share at the office.
- Host a special event, or Christmas party! This one could primarily be meant for your supply chain and staff. Getting your supply chain together in an informal networking setting is a good way to solidify your relationships while at the same time allowing those businesses to create new ones.
- A simple and easy way to engage in your supply chain and make them feel appreciated is to follow back on social media. And it doesn’t stop at a simple follow, if you have the time. Find an article or sample of an innovation that might be related to their business. This makes them feel like you are plugged into their business and care enough to share information you feel is relevant to running a smooth operation. Learn something...share it.
- Birthdays and schwag! We would not expect you to be on a first name basis with everyone in your supply chain, but perhaps with a few of the key players. Let them know you are building a birthday list so your company doesn’t forget those who help build your business. Some may not want to play along and that’s ok. Put those birthdays in your Google Calendar so you don’t forget. A little schwag sent as birthday gift goes a long way to keeping you top of mind and not the competition.