If you have a product that must remain constant due to the market, you are projecting future sales of the same item you produce today. However, if your product changes are driven by customer demands, or worse yet, trends dictated by those distanced from your own product offerings, predicting your own future is almost impossible.
Your suppliers need to be sensitive to rapid changes in the market and this is when it is vitally important to have relationships with suppliers that are more akin to partnerships. When everyone is working toward the same outcome – increasing sales, high customer satisfaction, and repeat and word-of-mouth business, it is a successful partnership. When each company along the supply chain is only concerned about their step in the process, it can be rocky and unstable. If anybody ceases to examine the complete picture, everyone loses. That is why successful partnerships are built on mutual, and not opposing, goals.
While you may not be able to count your orders before you receive them, at least you can count on your suppliers to be there when you need them.