When you’re searching for the right supplier of some item that you use in your business, how do you find that “right” one?
First, set your criteria. Make a list of what matters to you most. For instance, that list might include details about the ideal lead time, dropshipping capabilities, quality assurance processes, payment terms and conditions and return policies. And, perhaps most important, especially these days, is this: communication standards. When you call the supplier, does a human answer the phone and can answer your questions? Do they reply quickly? Think about these things before you agree to work with a supplier. Some criteria are “must-haves.” With other criteria there’s some room for flexibility.
Next, look online for options and/or talk with others who use products you use and find out who they recommend. When searching for a threaded rod supplier, for instance, get a feel for a company’s reputation in the industry. Are they loved or hated? Why? Do they offer insurance and/or fraud protection? What kind of business do they operate? After evaluating some options, put out a call for bids.
Thirdly, once you have some bids to look over, evaluate your options. See which supplier best fits your needs when it comes to your budget as well as quality standards. Choose a supplier and communicate with them; Negotiate contract terms. Perhaps try a “trial run” by utilizing a short-term contract– that way you can get a feel for whether or not they’re a good fit to meet your needs as intended.
Finally, monitor your supplier’s performance over time. If they start slacking, it’s time to find a different supplier.