8 Tips for Dealing with Your Commercial Aluminium Manufacturer

20 July 2020

Commercial aluminium manufacturers are not just suppliers of the product that you need, they are an important player in ensuring that your project is executed perfectly and on-time. This is why it’s integral that you not only communicate with them effectively but that you also build a strong relationship. If you’re a project manager, the latter reason is even more important as this may be a client you will have to work with for future commercial projects.

Why is a commercial aluminium manufacturer important?

A commercial aluminium manufacturer is important because it produces integral elements of projects such as aluminium windows and aluminium doors. These elements are important for not just the appearance of a building, but also for functionality. In order to successfully execute a project on time, these elements are required. Therefore, it is in your project’s best interest to form a solid relationship with your commercial aluminium manufacturer.

8 tips for dealing with a commercial aluminium manufacturer or supplier

Select the right manufacturer or supplier

The first thing you should ensure in order to have a successful relationship with your supplier is to pick the right one. Believe it or not, there is a wrong supplier. Manufacturers who aren’t able to accommodate the volume that you require or those that simply don’t offer the kind of product you need will inevitably become problematic in the future. Ensure that you research your prospective supplier properly.

Create a detailed contract

When you find the right supplier and are ready to sign a contract, ensure that you include all of their obligations. A thorough contract avoids issues in the future and provides the supplier with an outline of everything that is contractually obligated and expected of them. This goes a long way for the relationships as it ensures that both parties are on the same page, and satisfied with each other’s obligations.

Be aware of cultural differences

Many times, suppliers are from overseas and thus have a very different culture, especially when it comes to business. If you know that your overseas supplier may have a different culture from yours, then do some research and learn more about how they conduct business. A kind gesture taken from their culture will start the relationship on a positive note. For example, ‘small talk’ is considered polite in Chinese business culture. Try to engage and contribute with your own version of ‘small talk’.

Set a positive tone

When you first speak with your supplier, set a positive tone. Don’t get straight into the details of the project. Instead, treat the supplier as a partner and not just a vendor. Exchange pleasantries and engage in some ‘small talk’. This will set the tone for the relationship and will also help in easing the supplier into difficult conversations.

Communicate effectively and accurately

When giving your supplier details about the project, ensure that it is accurate and thorough. If you give incorrect information, this will result in an incorrect product that may wrongly cause you to blame your supplier. Be very detailed with your instructions and requirements but be mindful of your method. Try to take a practical approach to give them information as well. For example, don’t call and list a bunch of details for your supplier. Instead, email the information to the supplier. This will ensure a more effective form of communication and will avoid future misunderstandings.

Give the right deadline time

Ensuring that you give your supplier the right deadline is one of the most crucial points for not only executing your project on time but for also maintaining a positive relationship with your manufacturer. Accurate deadlines are key for manufacturers, especially commercial suppliers. When you begin your relationship with the supplier they will first let you know if their lead times match up with your deadline. Any change to this deadline (for example, if a client wants it sooner) will not only not be impossible, but it will cause your relationship with the supplier to suffer as they will feel put under unfair pressure.

Pay on time

Your supplier deserves to be treated well and paid on time. After all, they have a business too! If you have a steady stream of late payments, then don’t expect your supplier to give you their all. Your relationship will suffer if you do not hold up your end of the bargain.

Be a good client

Above all, you must be a good client. Treat your supplier how you would like to be treated, like a partner. Exchange pleasantries, maintain communication and be on time with your payments. This will foster a strong and long-lasting relationship.

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I am Syond Jones architecture by profession. Apart from profession, I love to read books and watching sci fi movies.