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Customer and supplier management

Ana CanteliWritten by Ana Canteli on 24 October 2022

After a week, it's time to talk about the subjects that interest us the most. We are a nation of small and medium-sized businesses, and we know that Digital Kit is available for use.

But how?

Well, the first step is to get in touch with a digitizing agent, who can tell you what needs to be done to get the digital voucher. This topic has already been covered in earlier blog posts.

Let’s discuss how the EU's Next Generation grant can help you, starting with the epigraph Customer and supplier management.

All organizations are affected by this problem, especially those whose clientele is crucial to their continued existence. As a result, the priorities of different departments are centered on the customers’ needs. Nevertheless, we shouldn't disregard the significance of our suppliers' contributions. In terms of quality and risk management, among other things, the client and the supplier are both critical.

We can be customers or suppliers and even play both roles simultaneously depending on our position in the sector.

For a provider, the relationship with the client is based on the following aspects:

  • Analysis of customer needs
  • Degree of satisfaction.
  • Good financial management.
  • Innovation and development.

From a customer's point of view, the relationship with your supplier is based on the following:

  • Punctuality in payments - online invoicing can be an advantage.
  • Quality of customer service.
  • Communication channel.

As we can see, there are common aspects for both the client and provider:

  • Quality is a common focus.
  • Although clients and providers have dependent roles, they want to maintain and protect their independence.
  • Both benefit from the existence of contracts that stipulate the rights and duties of each party.
  • Communication between the parties must always be fluid, especially in cases of conflict, to resolve incidents as soon as possible and in the best way for both parties.

However, both parties interpret common ground and self-interest in different ways:

  • Satisfaction: the client demands nearly flawless attention to all of his needs and expectations from his provider. A client's deepest desire is to feel cared for by his provider. The punctuality of payments for a supplier encodes satisfaction in his relationship with the client. A client may become highly demanding, but as long as he upholds his end of the bargain, he will continue to be regarded as a good customer.
  • Innovation: Customers use and test the supplier's goods and services in intricate ways that are difficult for the supplier to duplicate. Good customer relations can be an invaluable source of invention and advancement.
  • Competitiveness: characteristics such as price, quality of products and services, reputation, technological advances, and market trends are elements to consider when choosing a supplier.  However, the client must exercise as much flexibility as possible with his supplier since strict demands may even compromise the quality of the delivery.

Benefits of a good relationship between customers and suppliers

It is worth investing in professionalizing these typical processes because maintaining a relationship with customers and suppliers is a crucial step that cannot be skipped in any organization.

The following benefits stand out as a result of good relationships between suppliers and customers:

  • Decision-making thanks to digital solutions, we can be sure that negotiations are successful, backed by up-to-date information, even in real-time.
  • Prioritize: In highly competitive and demanding environments, choosing the correct priorities in the most lucrative relationships is necessary.
  • Process improvement: through automation, buying and selling cycles are shortened, and tasks with little added value are eliminated, leading to a reduction in human errors. Additionally, by overseeing all crucial workflows for contracts, purchases, projects, etc., HR is focused on more lucrative assignments—connected processes.
  • Quality improvement: accessing all the information related to the customer or supplier profile provides a high-quality service or related experience that contributes to the parties' loyalty.
  • Communicative Enhancement: Shared information, calendars, and follow-up activities give everyone clear expectations about the next steps. The supplier can access order histories to understand customer buying patterns and identify new sales opportunities.  Customers can also anticipate market trends and adjust their orders.

Other aspects, such as information security and staff training, should not be ignored. At a legal level, our country is at the forefront of the most guaranteeing legal frameworks for consumers, which means that suppliers must comply with high legal requirements.  The GDPR is the best-known example.

On a human level, employees can become overwhelmed by the amount of new information they have to process.  Requests, registration of new clients, updating of contact data, readjustment of processes, alert calendar...  Suppose we add to this the implementation of a new technological solution without proper support. In that case, the chances of failure in installing new software to improve the relationship management with customers and suppliers increase considerably.

The OpenKM document management system is the ideal solution for managing the information derived from relationships with customers and suppliers and managing the documentation created due to these links. OpenKM will help you comply with and guarantee your company's document security.

The document management software includes complete documentation, with API and web services to connect the document manager with the other applications already present in the company, if necessary. In addition, it is possible to adapt the user interface both aesthetically and operationally.  If the organization has the technical capacity, it can implement its desired developments.  OpenKM also offers consulting and development services - all subsidized by the digital bonus - for those installations requiring it.

In addition, the document manager can be installed in perpetuity on the company's servers or used as a service in its cloud version.

We aim to facilitate the adoption of the document management system within the company's software suite at the training level with the help of the OpenKM Academy platform. You can find training courses that are specifically designed to meet the needs of each type of user on the e-learning platform.

As stated in the beginning, our objective in this post is to encourage SMEs and micro-SMEs to improve their business processes thanks to the Digital Kit grant. At OpenKM, we are committed to adjusting the price of our products and services to the grant obtained by the beneficiary.

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