Blue Wash Cache PotAnother winner from “Today’s Garden Center” magazine, as Sid Raisch posts another excellent edition of his “Management & Profitability” column called “4 Stellar Opportunities for Garden Suppliers in 2015“. As you would expect from the title, the article presents ideas to help L&G suppliers better communicate and fill the needs of their IGC clients.

In essence, ensuring our mutual success in this crazy business boils down to effective 2-way communication. We, as suppliers, need to a better job of relaying inventory positions, strategies, and market trends to you, the retailers. Your part of the equation is similar, and the column includes a sidebar that I am going to quote directly – I don’t think that I could frame it any more succinctly:

  1. Engage. It is impossible to see things from the other person’s point of view if you don’t get out there and see things from the other person’s point of view. Visit them and have them visit you. Ask and learn about the forces that make their life complicated, and you’ll earn the right to tell them about what makes your life complicated so they can help you solve those problems. Otherwise this is going to be a standoff because they just won’t understand you well enough to help.
  2. Anticipate and Commit. The supply is going to get much tighter than it already is. Anticipate that you’ll probably sell 80 percent of what you buy, and get that product committed now so the supplier can know and anticipate what they must do for you. Don’t expect them to carry all the risk of producing those items on their own with no commitment from you.
  3. Use Supplier Marketing Support. It is frustrating for suppliers to offer the marketing materials that retailers say they want, then see those items go unused. Most retailers could use more point-of-purchase and other supporting materials to sell more product. If it is available from your supplier, order it and use it. How about you go get it out of the back room and put it up now?
  4. Pay Your Bills. Too often money is sitting in the bank instead of paying a bill that is now overdue. Your suppliers are not banks and should not be operating like them. If you want a great supplier, then commit to be a great customer and show it first by paying on time, if not earlier.