Whether you sell building materials to construction companies, furniture to individuals, or playground equipment to schools, you’ll need suppliers to restock your warehouse or yard with the products you sell. And if you want happy customers, you’ll need to source from the best suppliers.
It is common to conduct extensive research before choosing a supplier for your business. However, although we are aware of these practices, many of us are unaware of the qualities to look for when researching potential suppliers for our business. If you relate to this, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are some key qualities to consider when deciding if a supplier is right for your business or not.
How do you find suppliers?
If you are new to retail, you may be trying to figure out where to locate suppliers. Even if you have a few ideas in mind, you can consider these recommendations as a plus.
Here’s where to find suppliers for your business.
1. The Internet
The Internet is a whole world. Unlike the typical world, you can find individuals, businesses, and suppliers by typing a few words into the Google search tab. Then it is up to you to select the best one for your business.
2. In network
In addition to searching the internet, you can find networking vendors, and what better way to do that than by attending industry events and exhibitions. By attending these trade shows, you can review products from various vendors and decide which one you think 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 a quote and, if applicable, a sample of the products you need. Moreover, you can compare their offer with that of other providers to get the best deal.
1. Responsibility for quality issues
When looking for a supplier for your business, be sure to look for one that is responsible for quality issues. Admitting a mistake can be difficult. In fact, it’s a rare and valuable trait that’s often missing from vendors.
For example, if you ordered wood for your furniture business and discovered wind cracks in 45% of what you ordered, you would want the supplier to claim responsibility for the problem and fix it. While a responsible supplier will easily do this, a supplier who does not boast of such qualities will deflect the blame.
A supplier who cannot take responsibility for their error will affect your ability to meet customer deadlines, including product requirements. So, when researching potential suppliers for your business, keep an eye out for signs of liability.
2. Specialist in your type of product and your target market
The more the potential supplier knows about your product, the better it is for you and your business. For example, imagine being an iron oxide retailer and dealing with an iron oxide supplier who is familiar with iron oxide manufacturing applications or quality issues related to your product? These vendors will be able to easily identify and fix issues before they affect a large portion of your order.
Additionally, it is crucial that you seek out suppliers who are experienced in exporting with your target market, as you need someone who knows your quality and legal requirements. It is possible to check where certain suppliers export by digging into their Alibaba profiles.
3. Production potential
If you are a retailer or a manufacturer who likes to import their products, you should look for a supplier who can manufacture a product as desired. In fact, many companies that import their products only focus on the production potential of a potential supplier and tend to ignore other important considerations.
To check the production potential of a potential buyer, you’ll need to put on your detective hat and do the following:
— Visit and inspect the supplier’s quality system: You can do this yourself or through a third party.
— Obtaining and approving a sample: This involves reviewing the potential supplier’s product sample prior to production.
4. Ease of communication
Communication is an essential quality to consider when looking for a supplier for your business. Since you will need to communicate with your supplier often, it is best to choose one that is easy to communicate with. Good communication can avoid many problems such as production delays, non-conformities, etc.
5. Regulatory compliance
When looking for a supplier, it is essential that you choose one that boasts a good track record in regulatory compliance. You don’t want to do business with a supplier who likes to break the law. Doing business with such a supplier can lead to legal repercussions for you and your beloved business.
Finding a good supplier can be one of the most difficult tasks in running a business. However, by knowing the qualities to look for when researching potential suppliers, you can alleviate the stress that comes with the process.