How To Pick The Perfect Supplier For Your Business
In the world of business, certain factors can either make or break your venture. Supplier management falls at the top of that list.
The relationship you have with your supplier determines your revenue and the satisfaction level of your customers. In most cases, you can’t control an economic crash affecting your business, but the good news is that you have the power to command your supply chain.
Choosing the right suppliers for your small business requires strategic thinking. You should have a strong sense of what you as a business owner are looking to achieve and how you can do it before you make your selection, because choosing suppliers is about much more than just the goods you want to buy. For example, if you want to cut down the time it takes you to serve your customers, consider suppliers that offer you faster delivery in addition to those that compete on price alone.
It all starts by picking the right supplier. With many companies ready to answer your call for bids, how do you select the perfect supplier for your business?
Before you make an error in judgment and risk putting your company in the hands of a lousy provider, let me clue you in on factor you need to consider to make the right decision.
How many do you really need? Narrowing potential suppliers to a carefully targeted group gives you at least two important benefits. One, it makes your operations easier to manage. And two, when you send more of your business to fewer suppliers, you become a more important client to them. As such, you may be able to make deals with them that will give you a competitive edge. For example, if you have a rush job for an important customer, a supplier which you give a substantial portion of your business to is more likely to go the extra mile for you than one you use only on occasion.
Nevertheless, it’s critical to have several sources from which to choose. Buying from only one supplier can be dangerous: Where do you turn if it lets you down or even goes out of business? And, while giving a certain supplier “exclusivity” may prompt that supplier to provide you with better service, it can also make it complacent.
- Reliability: This is just as important a factor as price, because if a supplier lets you down, you may well end up letting your customers down. So when you find reliable suppliers, you want to keep them. Focus too much on getting the rock-bottom price and you may well end up losing these suppliers. And even if you don’t lose them, if you’re constantly bargaining you may find these suppliers less willing to go out of their way for you when you need it.
- Quality and value: Your customers will associate poor quality with you, not your suppliers. So you need suppliers that provide consistent quality. And you must decide what you’re willing to pay for it. Strike a balance among cost, reliability, quality, and service.
- Good service and communication: You need suppliers that can deliver on time or that will be honest and give you ample warning if they can’t. The best suppliers will also keep in touch with you regularly to find out what needs you have now and how they can serve you better in the future.
- Sound financial health: It’s very important to be sure your suppliers have strong enough cash flow to deliver what you want, when you want it. Running a simple credit check with one of the leading credit bureaus, like Dun & Bradstreet, can assure you that a supplier won’t go out of business just when you need it most.
- Team approach to business: A strong relationship between you and your suppliers benefits everyone. If your suppliers acknowledge that your business is important to them, they’ll likely make every effort to provide the best service possible. And you’ll be more likely to achieve this by letting them know how important they are to you and your business.
You can evaluate the quality of work a company does by checking their website. Before you make a trip to their factory, go through their site to get a feel of how they run their business.
Any company interested in having a solid brand reputation puts in effort to have a compelling website. Everything from their structure to content needs to reflect quality. With professional copywriting and web design, there is no reason why a business should have a poor website.
A company aiming to please its customer base will apply strategic measures to prove its credibility, from hiring a SEO Company in Melbourne to polish its content to having a responsive website.
Acknowledgment of your needs
When searching for a supplier, you’re interested in getting into a partnership with a company that understands your needs. You need a provider who has the means and knowledge to produce the right products that appeal to your target market.
It’s crucial that you find a supplier who comprehends the intricate details of your business from your choice of material, quality, documentation, and packaging details.
Get a distributor who offers affordable prices without compromising on quality. Stay away from companies that promise you cheap rates with no assurance of value or reliability.
Always try to strike a balance between cost and quality. Once you narrow down your research to a few potential suppliers, go ahead and ask for samples.
Consider their Brand Reputation
Check for online reviews for an idea of what other customers think about the company. Testimonials are great at providing perceptive on the performance and credibility of an enterprise. If you don’t know how to judge brand reputation, SEO Wellington is your best bet.
The last thing you want is to get into a deal with a supplier with a bad rap sheet. In as much as there is nothing as a perfect company, there is a good reason why a provider will have poor ratings, and it has to do with their service delivery.
Considering you’ll be in constant communication with your supplier, it’s essential you get into partnership with a company that values and appreciates feedback.
You don’t want to email your supplier today only to get a reply next week. Good communication is key to having a long-lasting relationship with your provider.
By following these tips, I’m confident you will get to work with the right supplier who understands and values the needs of your business.