If you were to hire an employee, you likely would spend time interviewing and learning about the prospective employee before you actually turn your business over to that person. You should do the same thing, if not more so, with your supplier. Here are a few things that you need to take into consideration when it comes to suppliers.
- You need a supplier that is reliable. This is perhaps the biggest factor to consider. Learn if the supplier can provide the supplies to you when you need them and to the level you need them. You need to have the confidence in the company to know that what you order will be delivered on time so you can provide it to your customers.
- You need quality. What you bring in to your business goes out to your customers. For this reason, you need to ensure the supplier is providing quality products to you. The quality needs to be consistent as well. If quality falls from time to time, this impacts the relationship your customers have with you. Your business’s reputation with customers is on the line. Look for a supplier that can guarantee the products and services they provide at the same quality level. More so, the supplier needs to meet your demands for quality, not theirs.
- Competitive pricing is another important factor to look for in a supplier. When discussing pricing with a potential supplier, find out what you are getting for that service. Is delivery an additional cost? Are there other concerns to take into consideration in terms of pricing? You are unlikely to get a very low price point and you should not expect it. Your supplier is a business and must manage its product, people and equipment, too. If they do cut your prices down considerably, just to get your business, they may not value your business and thus, the quality and reliability you receive from the supplier may be lacking. Expect to pay a fair but competitive price from your supplier.
In addition to these factors, you also need to ensure your business is able to work with the supplier. Timelines, availability of products and services, and even the actual flexibility offered by the supplier all matter immensely to your business.
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