Rather than simply choosing the most cost-effective option there are other aspects to take into account when selecting your supplier. Reliability, communication and quality are just some of the aspects you need to be conscious of.
Be cautious when choosing as your supplier will have a direct impact on your business and clientele base.
Starting the Search
When going in search of suppliers you need to know what the needs of your business are. Once you’ve compiled a list of your business’ needs the next step is deciding how many suppliers you may need. When it comes to suppliers, less is sometimes always more; if you are able to buy from few rather than many, you will have more control over your supplies. Having fewer suppliers should also lower costs, particularly where bulk discounts are involved. Just be aware that it can be risky having minimalist relationships with suppliers in case one lets you down or worse, go bust.
After all that you need to look into your potential supplier’s services, what they offer and how much they’re asking for. Make sure you take the time to check the community reviews on their service, too – you need a service that is guaranteed to be reliable as that reliability will have a direct effect on your business and your clients. Although you may want to keep costs down, it’s not worth simply opting for the cheapest supplier you can find if the quality isn’t there. Quality needs to be consistent or else your supplier could work out being far more costly than you bargained for.
Once you are aware of your business’ basic needs and what you are looking for, it’s always best to create a shortlist of potential suppliers. When creating your shortlist it is always worth checking out suppliers that have been recommended by others. These suppliers are often more expensive but there is no harm in seeing what else is on offer. Looking into your current supplier’s competitors could potentially lead to a better deal than you already have, the main aspect to concern yourself with when including suppliers to your shortlist is their services, prices and past record.
Making your Decision
Once you have your shortlist of potential suppliers, approach them directly and see what offers they suggest. Be prepared to negotiate and always remember to compare their costs and services against your other potential suppliers. You need to choose a supplier that not only meets your needs, but that you will be happy developing a working relationship with. Once you have chosen the supplier and are happy with the price quoted, make sure you get the price in writing. This covers your back in case they decide to change the price at a later date.