Looking for the best quality products at lower costs is always the most hardest part when researching a new supplier for your next project. At the same time it is more important to identify if it is worth to have the long term value through working with the supplier. You do not want to sacrifice the quality and delivery time by reducing a few cents. Here are 11 tips what you have to consider when looking for a reliable supplier:
1. Geographical/Political Issues : You may be able to find overseas suppliers offering the bottom price. Keep in mind that either the unstable labor relations or political issue between countries can be critical hindrances for your business. Don’t forget to research and analyze the potential risks you may have to get through in the areas. Be sure to prepare how to prevent and manage those risks.
2. Weather : We really can not take control of the nature and we know how horrible disasters the weather can result in. The media is not always the reliable channel you can depend on in this case. Do you have the luxury to overlook this? If not, it is always wise to take the possible impacts by the weather into consideration when you choose a supplier.
3. Location : Based on your needs you have to decide which type of supplier would be more beneficial between a multi-location or a single location manufacturer. The number of locations the supplier offers can be the one of the factors to determine shipping capabilities and associated costs. A smaller business with a single location or string multiple suppliers tends to be more flexible to negotiate a better deal to meet your needs.
4. Product Information : Make sure if a supplier provide detailed descriptions when you are searching for a right product for your project. The more information they can provide the better. If the supplier is capable of providing easily accessible channels to show products specs, charts, graphs and CAD drawings, it means that extra efforts have been made to give you as accurate information as possible, and they are ready to help you to win and maintain your business.
5. Visible Inventory Status : You can find a huge advantage if the supplier has the capability to show the real time stock status. This shows their commitment and ability to readily provide the products when needed.
6. Flexibility : The volume of the order can be an issue when you work with a supplier. Before choosing a supplier, always make sure how flexible the supplier is when you make a small or high volume order. Look for a supplier that offers a small volume order if you need a smaller quantities or prototypes. If you need extremely large quantities over time, you’d better know your growth pattern for the product you need before choosing a supplier so that you can partner with them who can grow with you.
7. Customer Support : The customer service should be always the priority. Try their customer service by contacting them and evaluate them. If you are in the particular industry requiring 24 hours supports, add this to your wish list. You should read carefully the company policy including but not limited to return policy, terms and conditions, and comprehend the contract language to prevent any probable complications.
8. Turnaround and Delivery : A reliable supplier can provide their lead time projections and on-time delivery rate. If not, it means they don’t have a proper tool to track the record and you do not want to work with the suppliers.
9. Payment Terms : Look for a supplier who is willing to work with your payment requirement. Since PO and Net 30 billing options can be dictated by the long term need and delivery time ranges, make sure they can do what you need in terms of payment terms to run your business without troubles.
10. Approved References : You can check out their true reliability by contacting another business who are working with the supplier. Due to NDAs, you may get some difficulties, so it is a good idea to ask a supplier if they have the list of customers you can contact.
11. Certifications : There are usually minimum requirements for most buyers and the base quality and capability certifications are expanded on by individual projects. Please CLICK HERE if you look for suppliers by specific certifications.Source from Thomasnet.com