Most modern businesses rely on suppliers in some way. In some cases, it’s specific components and machinery parts. In others, it’s simple office supplies like paper and stationery. Whatever your needs, you’re looking for a supplier that is reliable, efficient, and cheap! So, how exactly do you go about finding this crucial part of your supply chain? If you get it wrong, you can find yourself with delays, hold ups, and additional costs.
The first factor to consider is price. Now, a lot of companies search for the cheapest suppliers, and that’s no bad thing. All businesses need to keep their overheads low, and supplies are a big part of that. Just bear in mind that price is often a reflection of quality. For certain supplies, it pays to invest in superior quality. Having said that, most suppliers will be happy to negotiate on the price. Get quotes from a variety of companies, and choose the best.
The size of the company is often something worth considering. A lot of businesses instinctively look for the biggest companies. In many ways, they’re the most reliable and stable suppliers to do business with. They have the size and scope to deliver your orders on time. They have strict backup systems in place, so you’ll never be left wanting. They’ll also give you room to expand. But, don’t discount the smaller startups. They have the flexibility to turn around orders quickly. If you need a flash order, the smaller suppliers are often perfect.
Reliability and stability
Ideally, you’ll want to find a supplier that you can work with on a long-term basis. You need someone that is always there at the end of the phone to meet orders. The last thing you want to do is renegotiate terms and prices for every single project. With that in mind, search for companies that have a good history and reliability. Choose a supplier with a long-term plan and a stable work force. Reputation and reliability is key here. If you can stick with one supplier for the next five years, you’re in a good position.
We’ve already touched upon the balance between quality and price. But, the quality of your supplies reflects the quality of your business at all. In many cases, your supplies feed directly into your company. Let’s say you’re building a prototype or creating a product. That product is only as good as your component parts. If you’re building an engineering product, this is particularly important. Everything from your rotary shaft seal to your bearings are essential. The better quality components you use, the better quality your product.
We always advise companies to look for suppliers that are innovators in their field. Why? Because that helps your company appear modern and forward thinking. It helps make sure that your product is the most innovative on the market. Ask your suppliers about their future plans and product development to find out more.
Suppliers are the lifeblood that feeds your company. Don’t settle for the cheapest option. Search for quality, reliable suppliers, and forge a long-term relationship.