One quickly understands the importance of a retail channel to their suppliers by how easy they make doing business with them. For example, suppliers who respect their retail partners make doing business easy – they offer electronic invoices, price adjustments, orders and the like. Suppliers who care less about their retail partners throw up road-blocks.

We find ourselves navigating suppliers on the issue of their retailer interface more and more. Thankfully, our size in a couple of marketplaces helps our view being considered.

This should not be hard. Smart suppliers should want their retailers to transact efficiently with them. they should want their retailers to reduce keystrokes, place orders electronically and receive invoices electronically. They should want regular sales data the better businesses decisions they can make as a result of this.

It troubles me that it is in the channels populated by smaller businesses where suppliers care less. The weak are condemned to be forever weak. That’s how it seems or at least how their attitude comes across.

Smart suppliers will want to help make their retailer partners smarter because they will know that our of this both businesses benefit.