Contracts you sign off with your suppliers

The problem with the suppliers’ contracts is that they are all in different formats; they are on different terms suiting mostly the suppliers’ needs and what’s more, they are representing your business’ needs.

When dealing with your suppliers’ agreements, the first thing you ought to do is read the general terms. It’s an essential part of the contractual relationship wording out the basis of it. One hint here is to also take notes for your own base agreement you sign off with your own customers – maybe there’s an idea for you there. 

Everything that’s set out in the specific terms is negotiable. Up to certain level, but still there’s room for flexibility. Initially your supplier would offer you the default terms and then you, as the customer, can say which are meeting your own terms and which need to be “revisited” and changed. Presuming you understand the term “negotiation”, I would just add that even though it may be a big company your signing your agreement with, it always make sense to try and negotiate some of the terms proposed.

One last thing I would like to point out is that do take some consideration in defining your requirements for specific areas when signing off agreements with your suppliers, i.e. payment terms, methods, delivery conditions etc. It’s a relationship of two (if not more), so normally it’s expected that it’s a compromise. Obviously some things come down to “who’s the strongest”, but it doesn’t hurt to know where your limits lie.