Good suppliers and vendors can do much more for you than simply supplying the tech and materials you need to run a business. They can also become sources of important and helpful information, allowing you to evaluate the market potential in products you’re working on, track competitors, and identify the most promising opportunities for the future. So, how do you identify suppliers who will offer so much value to your existing operation? Here are some traits that make a good supplier…
Many new, developing companies will focus on one supplier trait before anything else: their pricing. The amount you spend on essential components and raw materials is certainly an important thing to consider, but there’s much more to a good supplier than the figure on the bottom of their invoice, and more to the cost of a business relationship than the price of the products they’re supplying. While negotiation on price is more or less essential to a profitable supply chain, you need to remember that suppliers, just like their customers, exist to make money. If you lock horns with them on every little bill, ask them for discounts on everything they sell, and fail to pay your invoices on time, don’t be surprised if they break ties with you!
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After the cost of working with them, reliability is among the most important factors to look for in any supplier. Good suppliers will keep their product ranges in-line with the going industry materials and information, such as this: Microwave Sensors. The Ultimate Buyers Guide. More importantly, they’ll ship the right number of products, as promised and on time, ensuring that they all arrive in great shape. In many cases, larger suppliers tend to be much more reliable than smaller, more affordable ones. This is because better-funded companies have more resources to engineer backup systems and sources so that, if and when something goes wrong, they can meet their responsibilities in their agreement with you. Having said that, it can often be smarter to target small suppliers. When you’re an important customer to a small company, they’ll devote more time and attention to you, upping the chance of better service and reliability than if you were just one more customer of a large supplier.
The final key indicator you need to look for is stability. It’s always better to buy from suppliers who have been in the industry for many successful years, and haven’t had to make sweeping, fundamental changes to their business every now and then. Companies that have long-running senior executives are also good candidates. You should spend some time looking into their reputation with customers that are somewhat similar to your business. While you’re doing this, look for any glaring signs of troubles with the vendor, for example shipments arriving earlier than requested. This particular problem can be a sign that the supplier in question is short on orders, and may take drastic measures to accelerate their cash receipts. If you enter a contract with a supplier who goes out of business in a couple of years, you’re certainly going to regret the decision!