Something that can help to create a successful business is finding the right suppliers for it. If you have reliable, efficient, fairly priced suppliers in place, you can provide a great service to your clients and customers knowing that you have the backup you need. Therefore, one of the most important tasks that a business owner can do is to consistently check up on existing suppliers and look for new ones when necessary.
Finding a new supplier that you are comfortable with is no easy thing to do, but these tips should help you at least make a start when it comes to finding the ideal supplier for you, your business, and your customers.
You won’t always need to speak with your suppliers. It could be that for a lot of the time all you have to do is go online to their website like you can with Custom Fittings Ltd, pick up the phone, or send across an email to place an order. Even if this is the case, you still will want to know that the supplier you have chosen is responsive. You want them to acknowledge your order quickly and, if there is an issue with it, you want them to get in touch and let you know sooner rather than later. Equally, simply letting you know that they have received the order can be enough sometimes. It means you can stop worrying and leave them to fulfill it.
It’s important when dealing with a specific client that you have a definite individual point of contact in case you do need to get in touch with them. Calling the main switchboard and being passed from one person to another won’t help to solve your issue and neither is it something to instill confidence.
It’s easy to find a supplier that offers the goods that you are looking for, and there may even be a large number of these companies you could choose. However, if this is the case, then you need to find out what differentiates them from one another. It will, in the end, all be down to their competency to give you what you need when you need it.
If a customer orders something from you, you need to know that you, in turn, will be able to order those items from a supplier. This is especially important if you are operating a drop-shipping company, but even if you usually have goods in stock and just happen to be running low, you have to be able to rely on your supplier to get you what you need on time and without fuss.
The best way to go about determining how reliable a company is is to check out testimonials and reviews. These are unbiased, honest opinions of what the company is really like to work with, so taking these into account before signing any contracts (or contacting them in the first place) can help you out hugely. Also, if possible, speak to the chief executive of the supply company you’re looking to use. You’ll want their assurances about how things work and why they are the right supplier for you.
Even if you think you’ve found a great supplier that can do everything you need them to, can they actually meet your demand? If they are a small company, for example, and you have a large number of orders to make, perhaps on a weekly or even daily basis, can they keep up with you? Or will they begin well but start to fail after a little while because they are unable to supply what you need? You will need to ensure that you give any company you are hoping to work with the right information so that they can determine who useful they can be for you.
With smaller companies and high demand, a good idea is to split the orders between two or even three similar suppliers. That way you can always be sure that at least one of them will be able to service your requirements. As they grow over time, you may be able to switch to using just one. Having a backup is an excellent idea because your customers will always be able to receive what they have ordered.
Any company you contact will say how committed they are to providing the best quality service at a great price, just as your company would say that to a potential customer; they (and you) want to make some sales. There is nothing wrong with this as long as it is the truth. Having a strong, reliable commitment to the product or service they are selling is a wonderful thing. It means you can have faith that it will do what it is meant to do, and do it well.
So how are your potential suppliers showing their commitment to their products? Have they got any special memberships or have they signed up to specific standards such as ISO 9001, for example? Are they so sure of themselves and their products that they are willing to pay these organizations and are happy to display the information? Doing so will signify how committed they are to do a good job because once a company is a member of an organization such as this they have to work to an extremely high standard to retain their membership privileges.
How much control does the supplier have over their own supply chain? Do they make everything themselves or do they order items in and then customize them, for example? This can mean that if they are having trouble with their own suppliers, you could feel the effects – and so could your customers. What assurances are in place that means you can rely on the goods you want getting to you in good condition and on time even if there is a problem at the other end?
In the end, much of your decision will need to come down to cost. Buying cheap isn’t necessarily the best way to go about things and other factors will need to be considered so ask about discounts for bulk orders or for paying ahead of when an invoice is due. You want to get the most out of the products you order and finding the right goods at a price that works for you is essential.