In order to choose the right materials and tools for your business, you need to work with the right suppliers. Below are 7 things to consider when selecting a supplier.
Cost tends to be the first thing that companies think about when choosing a supplier. Don’t just look at the price of individual items - most suppliers will offer various deals when it comes to buying in bulk. Some of these deals may be negotiable, so it’s worth talking to someone directly.
Make sure to also factor in shipping charges and any other fees that may be added to the total cost - some companies may offer very low prices on products but may make up for this by charging extra for shipping.
Speed of delivery
When placing an order, you need to consider how quickly it will come. The location of a supplier can have a big impact on this - you should consider whether they have a warehouse near you. If the company has to ship something from abroad, you should consider which shipping options they offer.
If they’re a manufacturer, you may want to consider the speed of manufacture. Fully customised products could take months to produce - especially if the company already has a queue of orders.
Quantity of delivery
If you are likely to need a large batch of items, check that the supplier is able to carry out this order. Some suppliers will only have limited supply. In most cases, larger suppliers will be able to complete larger orders.
Quality of goods
Consider the quality of the products being sold by the supplier. If they’re a manufacturer, it could be worth looking at reviews of their products to get an idea of how customers rate the quality. If they supply third party products, consider which manufacturers they order from.
With everyday commercial supplies you may want to stick to popular trusted brands. For instance, if you’re a construction company looking for a concrete repair solution, you could be better off sticking to a well known brand like Monotop rather than gambling on a lesser known brand.
When it comes to used supplies, make sure to always get a clear idea of the condition before buying.
Range of supplies
Do you need a supplier that can provide just one item? Or are you looking for a supplier that can offer a range of items? Being able to get lots of different products through one supplier could help to make your supply chain easier to manage. However, the downside of this is that you may not always get the best rates for each individual product.
Ease of communication
You should consider how easy a supplier is to communicate with. If you’ve tried messaging a supplier and you’ve now waited days without a reply, consider whether this is a supplier that you really want to work with. Slow communication may not matter too much when it comes to certain items, but with other items it could be a huge issue.
Finally, you should consider whether the company’s ethics align with your own. If being environmentally-friendly is important to you, it could be worth checking that suppliers are taking measures to be green such as using recyclable packaging or promoting greener shipping options. If treating workers fairly is important, you may want to check that they are a Fairtrade company or that they sell Fairtrade products.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.