A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Too many newsagency suppliers are late communicating about inventory delays

Almost daily recently I have heard from at least one newsagent about a supplier advising of delays to stock delivery. The complaints are commonly not about the delay itself but about the delay in sharing news of the delay.

Suppliers appear to think that not telling retailers of a delay protects their position of forward orders.l It does not do that. It lets newsagents know to be skeptical in ordering from that supplier again.

This time of the year, supply certainty is key. Many retail business settings rely on it: labour, space allocation, marketing, and more. When stock does not turn up, all of those long-planned settings are compromised.

I heard of one supplier this week who was chased by plenty of retailers about stock that was due in store a month ago. They finally responded by dismissing the queries with don’t you know we’re in a pandemic. What a silly response. Retailers see through it because so many suppliers have made appropriate changes to ensure inventory supply. Some have changed source country. Plenty have brought production to Australia.

The big issue here is poor communication from suppliers. That is what I will judge them for. I want to deal with suppliers that understand that good communication is one of the most important assets in any relationship.

Newsagency management

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