Relationship management is a core value in drop ship business models. After all you will be dealing with more than one stake holder and will require all the coordinating skills that you possess to be able to transact smoothly. Normally the drop ship business will fail on the basis that the communication channels have broken down. A case in point is whereby the product has been order and paid for but the manufacturer is not able to deliver it due to capacity issues. The end consumer will not be particularly interested in the exact detail of the relationship you have with the manufacturer. All they want is their product delivered in time and in good working order.
Communication is always a key element of communication management. The shipper wants to hear from you direct and not to carry out some sort of ad hoc arrangement through middlemen. If there are any issues you need to either email or phone. Make yourself available for both the customer and supplier in case they wish to clarify a point. Investing in good communication channels is more than capable of making its way through increased profits.
You can not manage a drop ship relationship unless the other party is also willing to participate. If you take the case of suppliers, there will be a multitude of directories on the internet which provide you with information about each supplier. Before you start entering into a drop ship arrangement with them, you need to make sure that they have good reviews. If the supplier is unreliable then you really should not be doing business with them.
At the same time you need to give the suppliers confidence that you are serious about the business and intend to make good on your promises. If you make orders and then refuse to pay for them or cancel them without notice then you will be breaking down the relationships that are meant to get you to success. Be upfront about what you intend to do in the business and ensure that you follow the normal conventions of business to business transactions.
Customers will return to those retailers who treat them with respect. Unless there is a very good reason, you should not be disappointing your customers on a regular basis. Make sure that you have the capacity to provide them with a tailored service even when working within the standard drop ship business.