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How to build trust with your clients during a supply chain shortage

by Rebecca Barr | Mar 19, 2021 12:59:18 PM

Warmer weather means an influx of projects for the construction industry. Businesses of all trades are likely to be filling up their calendars through the late summer months, if they haven’t already.

Well, isn’t that a good thing? Not exactly. As supply chains continue to rebound from COVID disruptions, costs are exponentially rising and supply can suddenly come to a halt. Forcing business owners to pivot and exceed their budgets to meet construction deadlines.

How do supply chains work?

Businesses can’t do it all on their own. Every product or service relies on other services and raw materials in order to be produced.

It’s a system of organization, information and other resources that heavily depend on each other to ultimately reach a consumer. Those relationships are called supply chains and they connect almost every corner of our marketplace.

Better Business Bureau is urging business owners to keep an eye on incoming materials when booking projects. Here a few tips to help you respond and build trust with your clients:

  • Be transparent from the get-go. Communicate with your clients about potential delays. Be upfront and honest about expected material delivery dates before they sign the contract.

  • Be there along the way. Provide your clients with updates along the way and give them your contact information and the best way(s) they can get ahold of you for questions. If needed, beef up your customer service team, and give them tools to better assist your customers.

  • Take ownership. If delays happen after the point of agreement, notify your customers. Let them know what is going on and apologize for the inconvenience. The way you handle a roadblock can make or break a long-lasting relationship.
  • Keep an eye on your supply chain. Have a solid understanding of how your supply chain works through supplier mapping. Communicate closely with your vendors and emphasize transparency from their part. It’s crucial to know their operational status and inventory level, in case you have to look for another supplier.

Chain-link Kinks

Understandably, some businesses do not have the bandwidth to have a large, widespread supply chain. Shorter supply chains are easier to keep in check. But even for businesses that have those tight supply chains, things may still seem tangled.

“If you think of your supply chain like a web right now, it’s hard to see where all the disruptions in the supply chain are,” explains Peter Crabb, Professor of Finance and Economics at Northwest Nazarene University.

Those disruptions cause an even bigger problem for business owners and inevitably lead to drastic solutions that are not ideal for anyone.

Which is why it’s even more important for your business to keep an eye on every link in your supply chain because your business depends on it.

To learn more, watch our BBB Informed video on supply chains. Find more business tips at trust-bbb.org.

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