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Lowering costs is a vital part of any plan for successful business management. Many costs can be lowered or negotiated even if they initially seem set in stone. Inventory and supply chain costs, for example, are often pretty standard but variations can not only be found but even invented if you play your cards right.

Work With Multiple Vendors

The first way to increase your ability to lower supply chain costs is to work with multiple vendors, including those that offer the same products. This not only gives you greater access to a variety in products and pricing, but it also increases your buying power, making you a more attractive customer for vendors. It also reduces the chances of grappling with last minute backorders for items your vendors may run out of during peak seasons. This helps to control costs since you won’t be scrambling around at the last minute trying to source them from anyone you can and willing to pay fees for rushing the order or getting overnight delivery.

Consider Vendor Costs and True Inventory Prices

The cost of inventory goes beyond its unit price. Issues with quality and supply obviously come into play, as do your own internal costs. Marinating a sensible stock level is often a dance between too much and too little. It’s important to understand what stock costs you as it sits on shelves so inventory supply management is just as important as unit price.

Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle

When working with vendors, if you’re ready to place a large order or set up scheduled and regular deliveries, ask about special pricing. Even companies that don’t openly advertise bulk or discounted pricing will often be willing to discuss the option for a customer willing to commit to specific quantities and delivery dates.

Vendor relations and inventory supply management play dual roles when it comes to maintaining costs for inventory overall. Working with multiple vendors and maintaining sensible stock levels helps to avert problems with supply and makes life easier both for your internal staff and your customers. While lowering the cost of your supply chain is a worthwhile endeavor, it’s important to ensure that those lower costs don’t end up costing you more in the future.