Whether you sell building materials to construction companies, furniture to individuals, or playground equipment to schools, you’ll need suppliers to replenish your warehouse or yard with whatever products you sell. And if you want happy customers, you’ll need to get your supplies from the best suppliers.
It is common practice to conduct thorough research before choosing a supplier for your business. However, while we may be aware of such practice, many of us don’t know the qualities to look for when investigating potential suppliers for our business. If you relate to that, you are in the right place.
Here are some key qualities to look at when deciding if a supplier is good for your business or not.
How do you find suppliers?
If you are starting out in the retail business realm, you may be trying to figure out where to locate suppliers. While you may have some ideas in mind, you can consider these recommendations as a plus.
Here are where to find suppliers for your business.
1. The internet
The internet is a world of its own. Unlike the typical world, you can find individuals, companies, and suppliers by typing a few words into the Google search tab. Afterward, it’s up to you to select the best for your business.
2. By networking
In addition to searching the internet, you can find suppliers by networking, and what better way to do that than by attending industry events and exhibitions. By attending such shows, you can examine the products of various suppliers and pick that which you feel is best for your business.
Below, we have highlighted some essential qualities to consider when choosing suppliers. Once you have a list of potential suppliers, request for quotation and, where suitable, a sample of the products you need. Plus, you can compare their offer with that of other suppliers to get the best bargain.
1. Accountability for quality issues
When looking for a supplier for your business, ensure you go after one that has accountability for quality issues. Admitting a mistake can be difficult. In fact, it is a rare and valuable trait that is often absent among suppliers.
For instance, if you ordered wood for your furniture business and discovered wind cracks in 45% of what you ordered, you’ll want the supplier to claim responsibility for the issue and fix it. While an accountable supplier will do that easily, a supplier who doesn’t boast of such qualities will deflect the blame.
A supplier that cannot take responsibility for their mistake will affect your ability to meet customer deadlines, including product requirements. So while searching for potential suppliers for your business, keep an eye out for signs of accountability.
2. Specialist in your product type and target market
The more familiar the prospective supplier is with your product, the better for you and your business. For example, imagine being an iron oxide retailer and doing business with an iron oxide supplier who knows a lot about iron oxide manufacturing applications or quality issues related to your product? Such suppliers will find it easy to identify and resolve problems before affecting a large portion of your order.
Furthermore, it is crucial you look for suppliers who are experienced in exporting with your target market as you need someone familiar with your quality and legal requirements. It is possible to verify where some suppliers export by digging through their Alibaba profiles.
3. Production Potential
If you are a retailer or a manufacturer fond of importing their products, you should look for a supplier that can manufacture a product the way you want. In fact, many businesses that import their products focus solely on the production potential of a prospective supplier, and they tend to ignore other important considerations.
To verify the production potential of a prospective buyer, you’ll have to don your detective hat and do the following:
— Visit and inspect the supplier’s quality system: You can do this yourself or via a third party.
— Obtain and approve a sample: This involves reviewing the prospective supplier’s product sample before production.
4. Ease of communication
Communication is a key quality to consider when looking for a supplier for your business. Since you’ll need to communicate with your supplier often, it’s best to go for one that is easy to communicate with. Good communication can prevent many issues such as production delays, nonconformities, and so on.
5. Regulatory compliance
While searching for a supplier, it is essential you go for one that boasts of a good track record in regulator compliance. You don’t want to do business with a supplier fond of breaking the law. Doing business with such a supplier can result in legal repercussions for you and your beloved business.
Finding a good supplier can be one of the most challenging tasks of running a business. However, by knowing the qualities to look for when searching for prospective suppliers, you can mitigate the stress that comes with the process.