Suppliers can have a significant influence on what you provide as a business, as you are relying on a sub-contractor to provide a service or product that will reflect the high standards your company works to. So with this in mind, it is essential that you know what to look for when sourcing a supplier for your business.
As a preferred supplier to many UK businesses, managing director of full service sheet metalwork manufacturer Fresh Metal, Charles Corner, discusses what to look for when choosing a supplier and how choosing the right supplier can greatly benefit your business in a number of ways.
The first step is to ensure you are properly prepared and know exactly what your requirements are. It is very easy to be tempted by pitches full of the ‘wow factor’, but do not necessarily match your requirements. It is essential to take the time to understand exactly what you’re being offered, don’t rush into any important decisions.
When you have established exactly what you need, consider whether you know anyone who can recommend a supplier to you? Are there any suppliers with relevant accreditations that jump out at you? It is always worth doing some research and finding out if the company has done a good job for other businesses outsourcing such a service, as well as assessing your chosen supplier’s work. This company will be representing your brand with the quality of their work, so ensuring the product or service they deliver matches your standards can sometimes mean paying a little more for the right supplier.
However, a higher cost does not always mean the supplier will do a better job, but looking into the levels of investment they have put into their machinery and equipment can give you a fair idea of their commitment. Consider whether the supplier has invested in desirable, industry-leading equipment and don’t forget to look at the general standards kept at the premises of the prospective supplier; a tidy workplace usually means a tidy product.
Once you are certain in the quality of work and cost, you also need to feel confident you can build a stable and long-term relationship. Does the person you are dealing with go the extra mile to provide you with the information you need? Often, companies employ someone to oversee all departments so you want to be sure you know exactly who you can go to if you have any concerns.
Choosing a good supplier is a big decision when you take all of the elements into account such as speed, reliability, relationship, testimonials and how they meet the original brief; making a scoring list to weigh up all of the points can really help before signing that contract. Remember they will be an extension of your business that can impact directly on your reputation and more importantly your bottom line, so take the time to choose the best supplier for you and your business.