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What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

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  • #16
    Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

    Originally posted by Dropshipping View Post
    I personally look for the product quality but also I look for the communication as well.

    I hate when the entire supply chain is stuck because the supplier does not have the time to communicate or simply does not give importance to communication. That is why, I would always interact with the supplier before buying and also, after the sale as well, to ensure that I would be able to order from the supplier in the future as well.
    Communication is important, you are right and I think a lot of businesses don't worry too much about that enough like they should do. it's OK picking a supplier that as the cheapest prices like a lot do, but if the communication from them isn't up to scratch then there is a good chance that you're going to run into a few problems along the way.

    There's no point in choosing a supplier with the cheapest prices, if you are then left to wonder if they have received your order, if it's been processed or maybe even more importantly, when you yourself are going to receive it.

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    • #17
      Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

      From an elemental point of view, the quality standards may depend on how much you are able to afford. If you desire the best quality and trustworhty suppliers out there, prepare to pay a hefty price which is competitive with others high quality supplier companies.

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      • #18
        Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

        Originally posted by gracer View Post
        I believe that one of the factors that make businesses successful is the quality of supplies they get from their suppliers. If you have good quality products to sell, you will gain more customers in time. Finding the right supplier who offers high quality products at reasonable prices is a must to be able to run a successful business.

        For those of you who are already running a business or planning on running one, what do you look for in a potential supplier?
        Many things, but not really price. It is a business philosophy, I prefer to deal with straightforward & lean businesses (no hidden fees or cheap marketing tactics to overcharge/upsale etc). Generally speaking what I would be looking for is: Do they seem like they have their act together? Any signs of negligence? over fluff? tendency to clog with not very-useful info/items? If so that would mean they're not very reliable because they are not following lean practices so quality would be certainly lower even they run the most expensive marketing campaigns.

        You may save in the short term, but suppliers are usually a long-term commitment. Flexibility in billing matters more than price IMO.

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        • #19
          Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

          When dealing with suppliers I have a few standards.

          Firstly, reliably is a prerequisite, if they are not reliable avoid doing business with them as this also bring to question a lot of other things about the supplier.

          Second, quality is a question of your business and client base. For example, are you dealing with high-end customers and selling at a premium? Or are you a price driven business selling at lowest industry prices?

          Lastly payment flexibility. some supplier some suppliers will give you 15 days, 30 days, even more to pay. While some even give you goods on credit, paid at certain times in the year. This is really important, especially for SMEs, as cash-flow may not always be good. If your a small of medium business, avoid suppliers that do cash on delivery or COD.

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          • #20
            Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

            Originally posted by miguel View Post

            Lastly payment flexibility. some supplier some suppliers will give you 15 days, 30 days, even more to pay. While some even give you goods on credit, paid at certain times in the year. This is really important, especially for SMEs, as cash-flow may not always be good. If your a small of medium business, avoid suppliers that do cash on delivery or COD.
            I do certainly attest to this. In our small family business, we gladly welcome suppliers who offer their products on credit. As you said, cash-flow in small businesses can be hard especially if many suppliers all come at a time and the sales is not enough to pay for the goods which are delivered. So what usually happens during such situations is for us to turn down the cash-on-delivery options until such a time that we get to cope up with the amount of supplies being offered to us.

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            • #21
              Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

              I prefer a supplier that meets their clients half way so that everyone can benefit and not just one side. I would understand if a supplier won't be deliver on time because there will always be fortuitous events beyond one's control. However, I'd appreciate it better if they inform us in advance or keep us in the loop should there be delays and other issues.

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              • #22
                Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                Originally posted by gracer View Post
                Expectations from potential customers put a big burden on the part of suppliers but I think they can use these things as a guide in providing quality service to the people and businesses they give service to.
                Well when you put it like that, then, you can really see where the suppliers who are better able to meet and predict these expectations are the ones that will be superior. In this sense, you really want to see suppliers who utilize technology to assess and examine these trends and expectations. That might take a little research to see what the company has, but it is certainly a good start. Thanks for sharing.

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                • #23
                  Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                  Honestly, I think reliabilty is a huge factor in this. I have to be able to trust that my shipments will arrive on time, with no delays because if I run out of supplies, then what? Cost is another thing. Cheaper, but quality items are always idea.

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                  • #24
                    Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                    I can agree with this. I want quality products for a bulk price. I like to buy things and have them auto-shipped monthly that way there is no mistakes, unless its on their end, which has not happened so far.. knock on wood! I also need to have a place that is reliable and trustworthy.

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                    • #25
                      Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                      Originally posted by gracer View Post
                      Punctuality, honesty, and good quality of products are also my top concerns when choosing the right supplier. Expectations from potential customers put a big burden on the part of suppliers but I think they can use these things as a guide in providing quality service to the people and businesses they give service to.
                      Well these are certainly qualities that we should look for in all areas of life. I was just reading the responses and this really stuck out to me for some reason. Punctuality is something that I have really come to appreciate over the years, and it might be something that is not necessarily underrated, but certainly goes under-discussed, in my opinion. Be on time, it matters. Thanks for sharing.

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                      • #26
                        Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                        Originally posted by rz3300 View Post
                        Well these are certainly qualities that we should look for in all areas of life. I was just reading the responses and this really stuck out to me for some reason. Punctuality is something that I have really come to appreciate over the years, and it might be something that is not necessarily underrated, but certainly goes under-discussed, in my opinion. Be on time, it matters. Thanks for sharing.
                        I guess this is because we are now getting used and somehow learned to adjust with delays not just when it comes to business supplies but with life in general. We sometimes have routine excuses for delays that are also either being accepted or just plainly ignored because there's not much choice anymore. This is why I also appreciate punctuality a lot because I rarely see it happening around me nowadays.

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                        • #27
                          Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                          Given that the quality is good and the price is fair, number one for me is reliability and consistency.
                          Rob O'Byrne
                          Site Owner & Sponsor

                          | Supply Chain Consultants | Supply Chain Conference | Supply Chain Education |

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                          • #28
                            Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                            Well, this is always one of the hardest part because your whole business will depend on your supplier's quality and responsibility, you always have to look for the best qualified supplier in order to make sure you're receiving good quality merchandise and also a good support from them just in case anything happens to your goods, you always have to look up for reliable companies, you do not want to be screwed by some scammers that are going to collect money from you and you will never receive anything from them, you also need immediate assistance and availability in order to keep your business flowing like water and hot as bread, that's my personal opinion, though.

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                            • #29
                              Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                              As with other users I would say price and quality are important. Cheapest is not always best,I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. I rarely go the cheapest route usually a few steps above. If I am spending tens of thousands of dollars with a particular company I also want prompt customer service including deliveries if that is in their realm of responsibility. A good return policy is important. That would be in regards to broken or wrong shipments, not items that sit for awhile, that is not their problem. There is also an advantage of not going with the cheapest option as you always have other options if your expect5ations are not being met, you can also use this in negotiation. Where possible I also make sure the supplier sources their materials from responsible companies.

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                              • #30
                                Re: What Do You Look For In A Supplier?

                                1) Business is right-sized to my spend leverage
                                2) Established quality system
                                3) Clear examples of how they control quality and process control
                                4) Payment terms meet my companies DPO targets
                                5) Proximity to my factory or CM's factory
                                6) Open book pricing for cost modeling
                                7) Ability to access the top ranking executive and they are present during an initial assessment
                                8) Inventory or replenishment strategies are agreed i.e. kanban, min stocking levels, consignment or other
                                9) Customer focused team that will work on my products
                                10) Ability to propose further cost down VAVE projects
                                11) Strong engineering capability to conduct DFM/DFX on new designs
                                12) Many more....

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