When running a business it is important to have a good supply chain in place. When choosing the right supplier for your business there are a few things you should look out for. Whether you are seeking a clothing manufacturer, food contract manufacturer or a stationary supplier we have got the top tips for you below.
Finding a Supplier
There are a few ways that you can find a supplier or manufacturer for your company. Of course the main one being a quick internet search, however if this is your chosen method you will want to do extensive research into the company and read online reviews before committing to them. A few other ways are:
- Referrals – When a company is referred by word of mouth it can confirm that they are a reliable company as you have a happy customer that can vouch for them. If you have not heard any referrals organically then ask around for recommendations.
- Social media sites – Social media is great for getting people’s honest opinions on a company, it will also give you a chance to look at how the company engages with its customers and what sort of content they are posting.
- Online Directories – Directories were great before the internet and are a great source now the internet is here. Online directories such as Yelp, YellowPages and AussieWeb are all great examples on where to start your search
- Business Advisor – If you have a business advisor or are thinking about getting one then they should have some knowledge and have a possible network of suppliers ready to recommend.
What To Consider When Choosing Your Supplier
Now you have a list of suppliers at hand, it’s time to narrow them down. To choose the perfect supplier for your business you should consider the following criteria:
- Reliability – A supplier that is reliable is a must, you want to feel happy knowing your orders are good quality and being made and or delivered in the expected amount of time. Do a few test orders to clarify how reliable the company is before committing.
- Customer Service – Running a business as you know thrives on great customer service. Now you are the customer in this transaction you want to know that you will be taken care of professionally and promptly if an issue arises. The best way to know if they have good customer service is to read the reviews.
- Lead Time – Check to see how long lead times generally are, the closer your business is to the manufacturer might benefit you in getting your orders quicker. For example if you choose a supplier that is abroad, lead times would be longer than if you found one in the county your business runs from.
- Cost – Of course we want the best and sometimes we might have to pay a little more to achieve this. However, shop around as you might find a better deal with matching quality and service elsewhere.
We hope these tips have helped you start your journey into choosing the right supplier for your company. Whilst you are here check out our tips on Six Ways To Spruce Up Your Business.