Finding a supplier that can consistently supply your business with the highest quality of raw materials you need is no easy feat. A single delayed supply of materials can throw off your entire production schedule and make you lose customers. Identifying and hiring a reliable supplier is the very first step in creating your product manufacturing pipeline. Get a poor supplier and your entire production process is already wobbly from the onset.
Now that we’ve established the value of a reliable supplier, how do you identify one? What are the business qualities that a supplier should have to be considered reliable? There are quite a few qualities, some of them industry-specific, but here are our top five.
1. Compliant with industry standards
Every industry has standard practices for a reason: to establish parameters of quality for the industry and to protect consumers from substandard products. People do not want to buy products from a company that has a reputation for not adhering to industry standards. This means you as a business owner cannot afford to use a supplier that does not comply with standards. Using substandard supplies to craft sensitive equipment like vehicle parts, aircraft parts or medical equipment can have serious consequences.
2. Offers reasonable value
While you might want to save as much money as you can when selecting a supplier, it is crucial to remember that pricing isn’t the only concern. Don’t accept a bad deal because you get it at a lower price. Instead, concentrate on value — are you getting your money’s worth in terms of good service and quality of supplies? Do they offer side deals that reward continued patronage or protect you from liability? Consider the growth plan of your company and see if the scope of the supplier can continue to match yours. All of these represent indirect value that increases the reliability of a supplier.
3. Strong portfolio of customers
Look at the kind of companies your supplier has a history of working with. Are they good companies? Are they known for churning out great products? You can always check out product reviews online to further help your decision-making. While the supplier may not be responsible for any bad reviews you see online, looking at the state of the companies they supply can give you some insight as to where your business might end up. Also, look out for whether they have supplied companies that make similar products to yours. If they do, they are less likely to make any silly mistakes.
4. High level of innovation
At the moment, innovation is a major supply chain trend, and buyers expect to see signs of it from the suppliers they work with. Oftentimes, the willingness of your supplier to adapt and adopt new technology works out as an advantage for you as it means one end of your own supply chain updates itself. This means you have less work to do in keeping your supply chain updated.
It’s critical to work with a vendor who has continuously demonstrated proficiency in their field. You can assess the expertise of a potential vendor from the variety of their supply catalog and the depth of their portfolio. If they have successfully worked with companies similar to yours, it is a safe choice to assume they can handle your needs too.
Get Started Finding a Dependable Supplier
While finding a dependable supplier for your company can be challenging, it is not impossible. Be patient, take time to compare your options and check for these characteristics while you’re at it, and you’ll undoubtedly find a supplier that is a good fit for your brand.