To get a new business off the ground requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears. From creating a business plan and choosing a location to deciding on a line of products and services, hiring employees, setting up a payment system and more, you have already spent countless hours turning your dream of entrepreneurship into reality.
Before you schedule the grand opening, you need to ensure you have the best and most reliable suppliers lined up to help you. Here’s why.
The Ripple Effect of a Poor Supplier
If a business owner chooses a supplier who has such insanely low prices that he seems too good to be true, chances are he probably is. Your supplier is the life blood of your company — if you don’t have the materials you need at your fingertips to make your products, you will have to delay the shipment of orders. In turn, this will lead to grumpy customers who need their orders as soon as possible, and they may end up shopping elsewhere. Another way that a poor supplier can come back to bite a business owner is by skimping on material quality. In this case, you might get your needed supplies on time and the price may be good, but then customers will be back to tell you how their product broke almost immediately and that they want their money back.
On the flip side, teaming up with reliable suppliers means you’ll get high-quality items in a timely manner, which is what you want for your supply chain relationship. To help be sure your suppliers are the cream of the crop, consider the following points.
Ask About Customer Service
When you get a ton of rush orders and suddenly find yourself needing more stock, you want to be able to reach your suppliers quickly. As SCL Managed Services notes, it is worth asking suppliers what their communication guarantees are like, and if it’s okay for you to call them late at night or over a weekend. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can ask owners of similar companies if they have worked with a particular supplier and if so, if they are responsive and communicative.
Avoid Outsourcing Overseas
It is understandable that you will want to find the most affordable supply chain options. At the same time, you should resist the urge to outsource overseas. Low-cost vendors can be extremely high risk in both their quality of product and their supply interruptions. Look for suppliers that are local and create the products you need in-house.
Inquire About Certifications
A number of buyers have industry or government-standard certifications that they must meet, and the suppliers must adhere to these certifications. As you interview suppliers, ask about these important documents and how they handle them. You can also opt to use a software platform that will keep this information handy, and then be alerted when these critical certifications are about to expire and that everything is in compliance.
Solid Suppliers Means a Successful Company
Having reputable and reliable suppliers are crucial to the success of your business. By being careful about who you choose, doing your due diligence and asking plenty of questions, you can rest assured that you have selected outstanding suppliers who will help to keep your company running smoothly.
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