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Ensuring Supply Chain Strength With New Suppliers

On Aug 27, 2021

No matter the industry you are in, selecting the right suppliers can make or break your business. Choosing suppliers that best fit your needs involves much more than just reaching out for quotes and going with the most inexpensive option. To successfully meet crucial deadlines and stay within budget, you need dependable suppliers that keep quality and customer service at the forefront of their business model. As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are noticing a drastic change in global market. It is now more vital than ever to seek out and maintain dependable sources within your supply chains.

Supply Chain Management SCMSource: IRC Group

Before you begin reaching out to suppliers it is important to determine what your needs are and what your definition of an ideal supplier would look like. Important factors that you may want to consider are quality standards and quality certificates, location, specializations within their capabilities, and perhaps even whether their company values align with yours. Be prepared to answer questions about your requirements so they can more accurately determine how to best serve you. Understanding your needs before you are asked these questions will assure you are getting assistance tailored to best suit your company. Once you are confident in what you are looking for in a supplier, you can begin building your potential supplier list. Ask contacts in your professional network if they work with any suppliers that meet your criteria that they can refer you to. Tradeshows can also be a great way to meet suppliers. When searching for suppliers it is important to check online reviews from customers and other businesses. This will give you a clearer idea of if a suppler will meet your expectations.

After you’ve decided on your potential candidates, you should start calling them and introducing yourself. Take time to explain what your company is about, what your mission is and what your typical projects look like. This can help your potential supplier begin to form a more personal attachment to you and your company. As you speak with your contact, make sure you get the understanding that they know their capabilities and are confident that they can fit your needs. If you are working with a time crunch, it’s not the time to risk it all on an inexperienced prospect. Be on the lookout for suppliers that are willing to work with you and fully immerse themselves in understanding your operations. A good supplier will want to come to your facility and look at what you do and how you do it.

Supplier Identification Graphic

Once suppliers start sending you pricing, keep in mind the ones you had previously had the best experience with. If your favored suppliers are on the higher end with their pricing, work with them on it. Let them know you have lower quotes but are eager to work with them. You may be able to get other members of their business involved to see if there are solutions, they can come up with to cut costs without sacrificing their normal quality. Be warry of customers that throw low-ball offers to you initially to gain your business. Have them quote a variety of projects to make sure their pricing seems consistent.

Finding reliable suppliers can be one of the most stressful aspects of running a business. It’s important to find suppliers that are willing to make your success just as important as theirs. Communication and keeping a healthy working relationship are vital. Don’t let yourself be tricked by initial low-ball offers and free samples. Make sure your suppliers leave you feeling confident in their abilities to fulfill your company’s needs.

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