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Strong supplier-manufacturer relationships benefit businesses

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The supplier-manufacturer dynamic is of equal importance to the manufacturer-customer relationship in the marine fabrication industry.

“We try to be open and straightforward with our suppliers, just as we are with our customers,” says Jeri Perillo, Custom Canvas of Charleston Inc., North Charleston, S.C. “Our suppliers have to make money just like we do to stay in business, and we understand that.”

To promote good relationships with manufacturers, Dennis Bueker, branch manager of Tri Vantage LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, says networking, fair pricing, supplying quality products and supporting trade organizations are essential.

Steve Griffith, owner of Marine Tops Unlimited and Xtreme Seal LLC, Madison, Wis., acts as a manufacturer with Marine Tops and a supplier for Xtreme Seal. Griffith emphasizes honesty as the biggest key to any relationship. Additionally, he says suppliers and manufacturers must keep each other in the loop of what’s going on, especially when it comes to availability of products.

“Being on both sides of the fence has been a benefit because I’m better educated as to what distributors have to go though in order to get me the products that I’m looking for,” Griffith says. “I understand more about customer service now because I’m both a customer and a service provider.”

Abbie Yarger is an editorial intern at the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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