Buyers have different levels of relationships between designers and suppliers throughout their careers. Some are more formal than others and the degree of commitment may differ. Relationships that are built depend on two main concepts.
1. The extent of resources and investments that are committed to the relationship.
2. The formality of the relationships, whether it’s long term and franchises or quick spot contract relationships.
There are three main types of vertical relationships (reasons for relationship building).
1. Long term contracts. These involve series of contracts over a long period of time.
2. Vendor partnerships.
Honesty and integrity are extremely important when creating relationships that involve one’s large amounts of money, time, work ethic and representation.
Negotiating is a skill that all buyers should be exceptional at. Negotiating prices with suppliers is what buyers go through all year. The buyers and the suppliers need to agree to benefit both sides. The buyers want to achieve the most for the company while the suppliers want to make their fair share in creating and distributing the product. Typically, the executives at the manufacturers will be the first to give a ‘cost price’ for a garment, then the buyers will negotiate until both feel satisfied. However, garments may be dropped from the original plan if either side doesn’t come to an agreement.
“Buyers should be able to estimate from past experience how much the consumer will expect to pay for a particular garment, and therefore can calculate the optimum cost price which they would be prepared to pay.”